Currently viewing the category: "Cobweb Spiders"
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widow egg sac
Hi,
I wrote a while back and asked about keeping a young black widow I found in a box of supermarket firewood. I have had her now for several months, and have been keeping her in a container that has six 2-3mm holes for air. She’s quite happy – I feed her all sorts of other bugs and sometimes pet store crickets. This morning I found her patting the last layers onto an egg sac – YIKES! How did this happen? Was it possible she had bred already, even when she was a wee cm long (including legs!)? Or has she figured out how to bribe the cat to unscrew the lid to her bottle and goes out on the town at night? Hussy! In any case, what do I do now? Take it all out to the woods and let her go? I’d hate to have them running around the neighborhood – lots of little kids. here are a few photos of the little minx.
Thanks,
Syndi Burton
San Francisco

Hi Syndi,
First, we love your colorful letter. Minx is such an underused, descriptive word. We believe it is possible that your Elvira was fertilized prior to becoming your pet. She wouldn’t have begun to swell with eggs until she was well nourished, and we believe she probably had a more regular diet with you than she would have gotten in the wild. It is also possible that the eggs are unfertilized and non-viable. To be safe, to the woods with Elvira might be the kindest solution to the riddle. Eric Eaton wrote in to add this: “Everything else looks in great shape:-) You are right about the female widow, by the way. Female spiders (and most insects, too) can store sperm from one mating and it lasts them a lifetime. Further, female spiders (and moths, etc) will lay eggs regardless of their viability, especially toward the end of the female’s lifespan.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Juvenile Western Black Widow?
From the information I was able to find on the web, it looks like I may have found a Western Black Widow (juvenile) is it possible to make that determination from the attached photos? Hope they are clear enough.
Scot

Hi Scot,
This is a male Western Black Widow. The photos are wonderful.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Black Widow?
Hello!
Just wondering if you could confirm for me if this spider is in fact a black widow? It was found in Victoria BC, under a rock. As you can tell from the second photo, it was found with a messy web made of a really strong web material. It didn’t have an hourglass on the abdomen, and only had one orange mark, not two as the northern black widow is reported to have.

Hi Vanessa and Colin,
There is often a degree of individual variation when it comes to coloration and markings. This is a Widow, and Eric Eaton informs us it is a Western Widow. Thanks for sending in such marvelous photos.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Bug Love
Hi Bugman!
Here’s a picture I shot from two Pholcus phalangioides mating. If you use it on your Bug Love page, could you please include a link to my page?
http://www.jr-worldwi.de/photo/
Thanks! I also have pics of [other bugs mating]. Interested? And thanks for that entertaining page! Cheers
Jens

Hi Jens,
Thanks for sending the photo of the mating Cobweb Spiders. We would love to get any other mating insect photos you have in your archive when you locate them. We are happy to link to your site.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Black widows mating
You recently helped me identify this young male Black Widow. I caught him messin around with an older woman and thought you might like to add one of these to your Bug Love section. Thanks for your help.
Rus

Wow Rus,
Your photos just made our day. Thanks for sending these awesome images to us.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What’s that spider?
I found this this little spider crawling on my 9 year olds bike here in Placentia, Cal. and was trying to figure out what it was. I searched thru your spider images but didn’t see one quite like it. It’s about 1/2 inch long including the legs.
Thanks
Rus

Hi Rus,
Nice photo of Latrodectus hesperis, the Western Black Widow, a male specimen. Males are not as well recognized as females, but their bite can also be dangerous.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination