Currently viewing the category: "Black Widow"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Male Northern Black Widow?
Geographic location of the bug:  Magnolia, Delaware
Date: 01/02/2019
Time: 04:51 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Was able to find similar markings on pictures making me think this is a Northern Black widows, but nothing exact. Found in September, near a storage shed under a damp piece of timber.
Thanks.
How you want your letter signed:  Don Sloan

Northern Widow, male or immature female?

Dear Don,
We agree that this is Widow, and considering your location, it is presumably a Northern Widow,
Latrodectus variolus.  We cannot state for certain if it is an immature female or a male, but we would lean towards immature female.  Here is a BugGuide image for comparison.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  spider
Geographic location of the bug:  forestville California 95436
Date: 01/01/2019
Time: 01:16 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this in my sons sandbox very pretty just wondering what it is.
How you want your letter signed:  Hannah

Immature Black Widow

Dear Hannah,
This appears to be an immature, female Black Widow which is pictured on BugGuide.  You should use this as an opportunity to teach your son about a species of spider that should be avoided.  According to BugGuide:  “
Caution: Anyone bitten by a western black widow spider should receive prompt and proper medical treatment. While the black widow is considered the most venomous spider in North America, death from a black widow spider bite is highly unlikely.
For the most part, the black widow’s bite may be felt only as a pin prick, during which the spider’s fangs inject a minute amount of highly toxic venom under the skin. The severity of the victim’s reaction depends on his or her age and health, and on the area of the body that is bitten. Local swelling and redness at the site may be followed in one to three hours by intense spasmodic pain, which can travel throughout the affected limbs and body, settling in the abdomen and back (intense abdominal cramping, described as similar to appendicitis), and can last 48 hours or longer. Elderly patients or young children run a higher risk of severe reactions, but it is rare for bites to result in death; only sixty-three having been reported in the United States between 1950 and 1959 (Miller, 1992). Other symptoms can include nausea and profuse perspiration. If left untreated, tremors, convulsions and unconsciousness may result. When death does occur, it is due to suffocation.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Is this a black widow?
Geographic location of the bug:  Northern Michigan
Date: 10/21/2017
Time: 02:29 PM EDT
Found this creature inside my home 10/21/2017.  Is this an immature female black widow? It had the red spots on the back and some on the abdomen. We also found this one the the porch in early October. Is it an orb weaver?
How you want your letter signed:  J.E.

Immature, female Northern Black Widow

Dear J.W.,
This is most certainly an immature, female Widow Spider, and considering your location, it is most likely an immature, female Northern Black Widow,
Latrodectus variolus, which is pictured on BugGuide.  Your other spider is indeed an Orbweaver.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Black Widow Spiders
Geographic location of the bug:  Northern New Mexico
Date: 10/04/2017
Time: 12:05 AM EDT
Good evening.
I moved to Santa Fe from Southern Oregon four months ago for work and I have never encountered female black widow spiders like this. We have killed eight large, female specimens in the house over the past two days.  Most of them were on the move in broad daylight, and surprisingly aggressive.  Two of them were actively sharing a web.  I captured one in my bathroom, and confirmed the red hour glass. I’ve never known female widows to act like this, unless defending egg sacks. Is this a sub species native to New Mexico, or some sort of infestation I was previously unaware of?
How you want your letter signed:  Alexa Rense

Black Widow

Dear Alexa,
According to BugGuide:  “The
Latrodectus genus breaks down taxonomically into approximately 31 recognized species, five (5) of which are found in the United States; four (4) species are native, one (1) species (L. geometricus) was introduced.”  According to BugGuide data, it is the Western Black Widow that is found in both Oregon and New Mexico.  While the bite of a Western Black Widow can be dangerous, they are not an aggressive species, though many female spiders will defend eggs and young.  We are lamenting the loss of native Western Black Widows in Los Angeles where they seem to have been entirely replaced in recent years by the invasive Brown Widow.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Is this a Black Widow Spider
Location: Johnstown, PA
August 21, 2017 2:53 pm
My name is John and I am the safety director for a company based out of Johnstown, PA. Earlier today, August 21, 2017 I was approached by two mechanics working on a truck with a concern over a spider. Today was the day of the eclipse and was a very nice warm day, temperature mid to upper 80’s. the spider was located in a sealed portion of the truck that under normal circumstances is very dark. there was a repair needed in the area so a hatch was opened up to reveal the webbing and the spider. After multiple people viewed the spider there was an ensuing debate on whether it was a Black Widow or not. Please help.
Signature: John Gregorchik

Black Widow

Dear John,
Because of the red hourglass marking on the ventral surface, we are 100% confident this is a female Black Widow Spider.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Is this a Dangerous Spider – Sure looks like it to me
Location: West Los Angeles
July 10, 2017 5:39 pm
Hi Bugman,
As much as I love butterflies, I don’t get along with spiders. Can you please let me know if this one is dangerous?
These are the best pics Icould take, but if you enlarge them the spider is quite visible.
Thanks,
Signature: Jeff Bremer

Brown Widow and Egg Sac

Dear Jeff,
Both the Brown Widow Spider and her egg sac which are pictured in your image are quite recognizable.  According to BugGuide:  “The brown widow is highly variable in color. It may be almost white to almost black. Typically, it is a light to medium brown, with an orange-to-yellow hourglass marking on the underside of the abdomen; the coloration of the hourglass often is a good indication of this species. The leg segments are banded, with one half of each segment lighter in color than the other half. The back often has a row of white spots (rarely orange or light blue), and there are a few white stripes on each side. Darker individuals lack these markings and are difficult to distinguish from black widows. If an eggsac is present, this is the best identifying characteristic. Brown widow eggsacs are tan, spherical, and have many small tufts of silk sticking out from them. They resemble a ‘sandspur.’ The other widows make white, smooth eggsacs that tend to be pear-shaped. ” BugGuide also provides this information:  ” Widow Bites:  NOTE: It is recognized that this particular species of widow is most likely not medically significant (not an immediate medical concern to those who are bitten). The brown widow produces clinical effects similar to that of the black widow but the typical symptoms and signs being milder and tending to be restricted to the bite site and surrounding tissues. (Print Ref 1)  Brown widow spiders usually curl up into a ball, and drop to the ground as a primary defense. It is highly recommended that people leave this spider alone; observe, but don’t touch.  The brown widow is an extremely timid spider which has rarely been reported to bite.”  The Brown Widow is a non-native, introduced species that has gotten quite common in Southern California as well as the entire southern portion of the U.S.

Thanks Daniel,
It’s hard to know when to be worried and when not.
Jeff

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination