Currently viewing the category: "Cobweb Spiders"
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Dear Bug Man,
We found this on the front door of our home in Byron, Georgia. Is it a Black Widow and is it poisonous? Thank you,
Denise West

Hi Denise
Despite originating in Georgia, this looks like a Male Northern Widow, Latrodectus variolus. There is a wonderful image that matches yours on BugGuide. From what we understand, only the female Black Widow has a dangerous bite.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

here I go again
Thank you for the help with the beetle I.D. I asked for earlier. Now I have another. While digging around in the backyard (Fort Gordon, Georgia) I came across this beautiful guy. Any ideas?

Hi Stefan,
This diminutive beauty is one of the Widow Spiders in the genus Latrodectus. Based on the enlarged pedipalps, it is a male. Immature females and males often have similar coloration, but the pedipalps easily distinguish the males. According to BugGuide, the male spider is harmless, but it doesn’t indicate if they bite, just that they are harmless.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

pictures you don’t have yet!
Hi there! While perusing your site, I noticed you didn’t have any photos of the dewdrop spider. These minuscule kleptoparasites were all over the webs of our golden orbweavers last summer. There were sometimes as many as ten in one web. Also, I know you have loads of spiny orbweavers, but I didn’t see any that were yellow. My husband and I found this one while hiking with friends in Bastrop State Park, Texas. Keep up the great work!
Milly from Texas

Dewdrop Spider Crablike Spiny Orb Weaver

Hi Milly,
Thanks for sending us your great photos. Researching the Dewdrop Spider led us to information on an Australian species, Argyrodes antipodianus. More searching led us to Nick’s Spiders and a North American species, Argyrodes elevatus. BugGuide lists three genera of spiders under the category Argyrodes, Argyrodes, Faiditus, and Neospintharus, because they have not yet been separated to the genus and species level. The Dewdrop Spider of Australia gets its common name from the silvery abdomen which gives it the appearance of a dewdrop. It is also called a Quicksilver Spider. Your yellow Crablike Spiny Orb Weaver, Gasteracantha cancriformis, is not as common as the white form of the species.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

cobweb spider with egg sack
We have these in our basement shower all the time but this is the first time I’ve seen one with an egg sack. I didn’t see a picture of a cobweb spider with an egg sack as good as this one on your web site and thought you might like it. Hope you enjoy it.

Hi Becky,
We will happily post your image of a Cobweb Spider, Pholcus phalangioides, and her Egg Sac. We use the common name Cobweb Spider after Hogue in his wonderful book “Insects of the Los Angeles Basin, but BugGuide calls this the Long Bodied Cellar Spider.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Blackwidow Love
Thought you might enjoy. This gal hung out on the window for months and then this little dude showed up – I though she would eat him right away but after 2 weeks I looked him up on the internet. He is her male counterpart, funny I thought he would look like her. Anyway they finally got to business many many times. I took tons of shots of them and then, a day latter, he was lunch.

Hi Robin,
Thanks for sending your awesome documentation of the mating of a Black Widow. Black Widows are sexually dimorphic, meaning the sexes do not look alike.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Black widow??? Not sure…
Hey Bugman…
I was diligently cleaning off a table on the patio when I came across what looks to be a black widow – but I am not certain because of the color and markings on the back. I saw the "hour glass" shape while it was pretending to be dead, but the spots when it flipped back over. I have come across this type of spider previously in another part of So. GA. Are you able to identify? Thanks!

Hi Amy,
This is the not quite as famous first cousin of the Black Widow, known as the Brown Widow, Latrodectus geometricus. BugGuide notes: “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. ” This is an introduced species and according to BugGuide, it is found: “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. ” Your photo also documents this behavior noted on BugGuide: “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. “

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination