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

Trying to identify this spider.
February 28, 2010
I’ve got this great picture my brother took. We’re trying to identify it. Can you give me any information. Is it poisonous?
Renee
Southern California

Immature Black Widow

Hi Renee,
This is an immature Black Widow, and you probably know that the bite can be dangerous.  The female’s venom may cause a poisonous reaction.  BugGuide has much information on the Widow Spiders in the genus Latrodectus, and there are numerous images that show these markings on the immature specimens.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Big moth and black widow
August 14, 2009
My son and I had a Discovery Channel moment leaving the post office yesterday. This moth was alive, and the spider was working very hard to wrap it up. It would climb up, drop a line down, throw a couple of legs over the moth, go over to the other wing, and repeat. The moth was fluttering but losing the battle.
We couldn’t believe this was right in the middle of the sidewalk (yes, there was a brick column in the *middle* of the sidewalk) at the entrance to a busy post office in the middle of the day!
I was going to take video but could only manage a quick cell phone photo before a well-meaning man came up and stomped the spider.
I think this is a real black widow, but I’m having trouble positively identifying the moth. We see them all the time here in Georgia – as the summer progresses, the moths get bigger.
Can you help?
Patty and Gabriel
Powder Springs, Georgia

Black Widow captures Regal Moth

Black Widow captures Regal Moth

Hi Patty and Gabriel,
We are sorry to hear that this shy and retiring, though poisonous Black Widow was stomped before getting to enjoy its gargantuan meal.  The moth is a very bedraggled Regal Moth or Royal Walnut Moth.  Its appearance indicates that it was already at the end of its short adult life.  Regal Moths do not feed as adults, and only fly long enough to mate and lay eggs, and possibly, like this specimen, provide a nutritious meal to a lucky predator.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Orb Weaver with Skink Pt2
July 24, 2009
I sent two images earlier today and got one more of the same unknown orb weaver with her skink. By now he’s collapsing on himself from her nonstop feast. As my son said, “Cool. Spiders are like vampires!”
Resa in Atlanta
Atlanta, GA

Common House Spider eats Gecko

Common House Spider eats Skink

Uknown Spider Feasting on Lizard
July 24, 2009
Saw this unknown spider had caught a baby skink it its web last night. I tried to get a decent night shot as the spider was biting the skink’s tail. The poor little lizard was twisitng fruitlessly. This morning the spider had turned the now dead skink and was working on it’s face. My kids enjoyed seeing the circle of life in action. I hope you enjoy the shots as well.
Resa in Atlanta
Atlanta, GA

Common House Spider eats Gecko

Common House Spider eats Skink

Hi Resa,
We are thrilled to be able to post your awesome documentation, though we have a certain fondness for lizards.  We do really hate those television commercials with the animated gecko though.   Your spider is not an Orbweaver, but rather a Cobweb Spider.  We believe it is the highly variable Common House Spider, Parasteatoda tepidariorum, based on images posted to BugGuide.  Spiders are able to incapacitate much larger prey when the prey becomes entangled in the web.  We have photos in our archive of a Golden Orb Weaver feeding on a Hummingbird and we have linked to an image of a Golden Silk Spider eating a Finch.

Common House Spider eats Gecko

Common House Spider eats Skink

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Enoplognatha ovata?Not a lot of brightly coloured spiders in Ireland so…                    July 12, 2009
Love love love love the site. I live in a rural area of Ireland and have not come across too many pretty, brightly coloured spiders here so it was a nice surprise to see this girl moving into our bathroom a few days ago. She was making it very difficult for us to get a pic of her so that we could get a closer look and search for an ID. But the other day as I got out of the shower she was out and about without a care in the world. So in a bath towel and up a ladder I took as many pics as I could and only one seemed fit to show to anyone – I stopped after snapping over 20 as it was all becoming a bit ‘Carry on…’ plus I didn’t want to slip and be found and have to explain what I was doing!
After trawling the internet and books I think she is Enoplognatha ovata but not 100% and I have definitley never seen anything like her before.
She seems to be taking up residence along with several other house spiders who share our bathroom and she just stands out so well against the white tiles we can’t help but check to see if she is still there everytime someone goes in.
Keep up the great work – I teach animal care/science students animal behaviour and we spend lots of time discussing evolution and biodiversity so I like to hammer home the importance of ‘creepy crawlies’ so your site is one of the top links I recommend they visit to develop an appreciation for such essential organisms. Cheers!
Anne Rogers, Meath, Ireland
Ballivor, County Meath, Ireland, Europe

Candystripe Spider

Candystripe Spider

Hi Anne,
Thanks for your complimentary letter.  We believe you have properly identified Enoplognatha ovata, and our research turned up the colorful common name Candystripe Spider on the Eurospiders Website.  It is a Cobweb Spider in the family Theridiidae.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Great Site for Science Students
Wed, Jul 8, 2009 at 4:43 PM
Hi Bugman,
I’m a sixth grade science teacher and I wanted to say how helpful your site is when teaching my students about helpful and harmful insects, arachnids, and other creatures. Students love the pictures and they often have good discussions about the bugs I show them. Your site is useful in helping students to identify before they kill bugs. Thanks for providing a great site. It’s great to show my students great pictures. You are appreciated!
C.G
Science Teacher
Florida
P.S.
I have enclosed a photo of a brown widow that I necessarily had to carnage on my front porch. It had nested under a chair on my front porch.

Brown Widow

Brown Widow

Dear C.G,
Thank you so much for your kind letter.  It is with trepidation that we are NOT tagging your letter as Unnecessary Carnage, and we feel many of our readership will disagree.  Your justifiably dispatched photo of a Brown Widow doused with insecticide nicely shows the typical orange coloration of the hourglass and the striped legs.  According to BugGuide the Brown Widow has a distribution:  “World wide in the tropical zone.  It was introduced in Florida and has since been observed moving north through Georgia, and into South Carolina; it has also been officially recorded in California, Alabama, Mississippi, and Texas. Habitat Found around buildings in tropical climates. (1)However, it is an introduced species and is the most human-adapted of the species occurring in the South Eastern US. Its webs may occur anywhere there is sufficient space to make one. It may be extremely abundant on houses and other man-made structures (e.g., barns, fences, guard rails, bridges). It reproduces frequently and disperses rapidly, making it nearly impossible to control.”  Since it is an introduced species, we will be tagging it as an Invasive Exotic.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

German Spider
Sat, Oct 25, 2008 at 3:56 PM
Hi, WTB!
I would say that I’m a great fan, but I know that you all probably know that whoever sends you photos has to at least have an interest in your site. So yeah, another of the hundred fans of the website. Great Job!
But onto my story:
I went to Germany this summer, and While I was at Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, our group went below the castle to see a grotto. Inside, when everyone was looking at the pictures and sculptures put there by the king, yours truly was taking snapshots of the spiders living around the cave floor. This one in particular caught my eye. The light from the flash casts an awful glare in one photo, but the others I think show it pretty well. This spider was large in my mind at the time, but now that I seriously think about it, the arachnid couldn’t have been bigger than three inches stretched out.
Although, that’s why I’m asking experts: you.
Thank you much in advance, and I hope that you’ll be able to identify this critter!
Zachary Boyden
Bavaria, Germany

Cobweb Spider from Bavaria

Cobweb Spider from Bavaria

Hi Zachary,
Thanks for your kind letter.  We are not able to identify your spider species, nor the genus, but we are confident that this is a Cobweb Spider or Comb Footed Spider in the family Theridiidae.  Most spiders in this family are harmless, but it also includes the Widows and the notorious Australian Redback Spider.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination