Currently viewing the category: "Cobweb Spiders"
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Black Widow?
I have had this big spider living outside of my front door for over a week and then tonight I saw the red hourglass marking and thought it may be a black widow, but as seen in the picture it is not completely black. Is this still as dangerous as I think? Thanks,

Hi Chris,
Black Widows are often not black until they attain adulthood. This Black Widow is immature or a male spider.

Correction:  July 9, 2018
Thanks to a comment from Genus 2.0, we now agree that this appears to be an immature Brown Widow.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Cobweb Spider?
Hello again!
I recently sent you in a photo of an unknown spider that I found in my basement. It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to send in any pictures of new bugs not many bugs to be found in 5 ft snow banks! I did, however, find a spider on the ceiling in my basement. It was in a web and had very long legs. I’m not sure what kind of spider it is. I thought maybe it was a long jawed orb weaver, but when I looked that up, they didn’t really match. I’m not very fond of finding spiders in my home, but didn’t have the heart to terminate this one. I let it go in my garage, but I imaging he’ll find it’s way back inside, as it is still rather cold out. I’ve had a bit more time to research your pages and I’m wondering if the spider is a cobweb spider. When I relocated the spider from its web, it did start gyrating like crazy, which is described in the cobweb spider submission on your Spider 2 page, sent in by Kathy. I can’t really tell if my spider matches the image posted on that page, though. Thanks again for any info you may have.

Hi Yvonne,
Yes, this is a Cobweb Spider, Pholcus phalangioides.

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False widow – Steatoda – pictures for you…
Dear Bug Man,
I absolutely love your site! In 2005 I was removing some retaining wall blocks in my yard. I lifted one stone and found dozens of these critters scurrying around in the dirt. Initially I got the heebie jeebies because they looked like black widows. Then I realized we aren’t supposed to have black widows in Puget Sound and that I"ve never seen black widows clustered together like that or living under rocks in the dirt, etc. I figured they must be something else. I went on the web and think I identified it as a false widow. In fact, it looks like the false widow that you have posted. Can you confirm that this is a false widow? You are free to use the attached pictures if they are better than what you already have.
I killed one so that I could get good enough pictures to ID it. I let the rest scurry off to somewhere safer. Thanks & Best Regards,
Jim Johnston
Everett, WA

Hi Jim,
Thanks for the compliment. We agree that this looks like one of the Cobweb Spiders in the genus Steatoda. Steatoda grossa is sometimes called the False Widow, and your picture is a very close match to one posted on BugGuide also from Washington.

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Marbled orb weaver?
Hi Bugman,
I’m not entirely sure of this kind of spider and I am wondering if you could help me identify it. I think it could be a marbled orb weaver, but am not certain. I found it on the underside of our green bin. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
Barrie, Ontario

Hi Yvonne,
This is not one of the Araneus spiders, but one of the Cobweb Spiders in the family Theridiidae which includes the Widows. We think this might be the Domestic Spider or Common House Spider, Achaearanea tepidariorum.

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A rare treat, Western black widow male, female, and eggs in one photo!
Adult female, eggs and male – Latrodectus hesperus – Male Female El Mirage AZ, Maricopa County, Arizona, USA September 6, 2006 An adult female with egg sacks, and a closeby male. I could not believe she was staying put, maybe because she was guarding her eggs, she was quite alarmed at me. This is one of 4 adult females in my yard that I have found. Most of the time they run and hide when I approach. This was a treat!
Candy Cox

Hi Candy,
Thanks for sharing this wonderful domestic moment with our readership, many of whom appreciate family values. We are also thrilled to find there are others out there without widow phobia.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Amazing Mystery Spider and other Arachnids
Hello to a marvelous site, Let me state right up front that I find your site to be interesting, informative, entertaining and helpful. I have enjoyed looking at the photos and reading the data that you and others provide. As a new-comer to digital photography in general (and bug close-ups in particular), your site has been a gold mine for helping me identifing many of the small creatures I have photographed. I looked at every spider photo you have and nowhere have I seen anything that resembles the Mystery spider I found this past spring. I have googled every variation of “red and black spider, red legged spider, colorful spider, etc.” that I could think of with no success. I am hoping you will be able to help me with this puzzle. I am also including a small variety of other spider pics I have taken. I am not sure which species the jumping spider is but I think the garden spider is some variety of an Argiope, and that the Green one is a Lynx spider, (by the way, the wasp lost, lol). They are some of my better spider captures and I thought you might find them acceptable or useful for posting. This is the third time I have attempted to get a response from your site and maybe the third time will be charmed, lol. I realize that you can’t answer all the submittions you receive but I am counting on perserverance to accomplish my identity search for this very unusually shaped and colored spider. BTW – I am in the northeast corner of Texas and the leg span of the red and black spider was several inches across as can be seen in the image where it is on a cone flower. This is the first and only time I have ever seen this type of spider.
Lee R.

Hi Lee,
Wow, what an awesome looking spider. It is a mystery to us as well. We are going to try some searching in the Lynx Spider Family Oxyopidae, and perhaps some Arachnid expert will know what this is based on our posting. We are sorry we have not responded to your prior letters. It is nothing personal. It is just impossible to even read all the mail we receive. Eric Eaton provided this assessment: “Gee, the photo doesn’t come across very well on my WebTV, but I think the spider is probably a male of either Nephila clavipes or one of the species in the genus Argiope. Just an educated guess, though.”

Update: (05/07/2007) Mystery spider…
Gary here, from the Missouri Ozarks. “Lee” posted a photo on your site dated September of 2006 taken in Northern Texas of a colorful spider that had red and black legs, a black body with red markings on it’s back. You folks told him you didn’t know what it was. Well, I’ve found a match for it in my wife’s office and according to the University of Kentucky’s Entomology website (“Mystery Bug” section) it is a male black widow. I hope this helps. R/S
Gary Paddock
Shell Knob, Mo.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination