Currently viewing the category: "Cobweb Spiders"
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Subject: Daniel – Baby Orb Weavers?
Location: Hawthorne, CA
December 4, 2012 2:01 pm
Hi,
There are many, many, many of these little babies on the wheel barrow this morning. Are they orb weavers?
Signature: Thanks, Anna Carreon

Brown Widow Spiderlings

Hi Anna,
The appearance of these Spiderlings and their presence on a wheelbarrow caused us to speculate that they were hatchling Brown Widows.  This image from BugGuide confirmed that speculation.  BugGuide states:  “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.”  They are not as dangerous as the Black Widow, and BugGuide notes:  ” 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). (Net Ref (4)) 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.”

Oh, my.  Thanks very much.  They’ve now dispersed, but I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for them!
As an aside, I just counted 16 Monarch caterpillars.
Anna

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Dewdrop Spider
Location: Laurens County, SC, USA
October 29, 2012 10:39 am
I found this tiny spider on the web of an orbweaver. I’m pretty sure it is one of the dewdrops, but cannot make further ID.
Signature: Gene Ott

Possibly Dewdrop Spider

Hi Gene,
This does resemble the Dewdrop Spiders from the genus
Argyrodes posted to BugGuide in shape, but in coloration, it is different.  There is also a resemblance to another kleptoparasite genus of Cobweb Spiders posted on BugGuide, Neospintharus, formerly classified as Argyrodes.  Kleptoparasites are organisms that steal food from other creatures.  A Dewdrop Spider, according to BugGuide, “steals small insects from the orb webs of other spiders, as well as pillages large prey items that have already been caught and often predigested by the host spider.”   We will post it with a tentative identification and see if any of our readers can provide additional information.  Thanks for sending this interesting submission.

Daniel,
Thank you very much.  I will check the site to see what occurs.
Gene

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Please help! Fast!
Location: Southern New Meixco
October 25, 2012 3:27 am
Hello! I am curious to know what this spider is because it is in my Jeep and it crawled on me the other day. I am hoping its not piosionous because I have two small children who ride in my vehicle as well and I. Please help me in identifying it and what I need to get rid or it
Signature: Galen G

possibly Male Black Widow

Hi Galen,
Your photo is quite blurry and lacking in detail, so a definitive identification might be impossible.  With that said, this appears to be a male Black Widow.  The good news is that while females are considered the most venomous and dangerous spiders in North America, according to BugGuide:  “Adult males are harmless. The male’s abdomen usually has red spots along the upper midline and white lines or bars radiating out to the sides. (The number of bars can indicate which species.) Males almost exclusively wander in search of females.”

Thank you. Yes I know it’s not the best picture but I snapped the picture and realized I should have just killed the darn thing cause it crawled fast away after the flash turned on. But again thank you! I will rip apart my jeep until this guy is found.
-Galen

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Possible Brown Widow in Massachusetts?
Location: Great Barrington, Massachusetts.
July 7, 2012 12:56 pm
I’m not good with spiders, so she might just be another run-of-the-mill orbweaver. She just seemed a little different than the rest; her longer legs and her oddly marked abdomen is what caught my eye.
I saw she had babies (of course I thought they were the cutest things in the world), and I tried to take a picture the best I could. She was up in the corner, so I couldn’t get different angles. It’s a bit blurry, because I had my telephoto lens on.
Can you bug guys tell me what she is? Thanks!
Signature: -Terra

Common House Spider with egg sacs and spiderlings

Hi Terra,
Like the Brown Widow, this Common House Spider, Parasteatoda tepidariorum, is in the Cobweb Spider, family Theridiidae, but unlike the Widows, it is not considered to be dangerous.

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25 June 2012
Yesterday while cleaning off the patio furniture, we uncovered this Brown Widow‘s Lair under the rear right leg.  to be continued …
We did not realize she was there until a spray from the hose onto what we thought was an abandoned cobweb caused her to scuttle along a stand of silk revealing her orange hourglass marking.

Brown Widow’s Lair

The Brown Widow, Latrodectus geometricus, is also known as the Geometric Button Spider or the Brown Button Spider according to BugGuide, which lists its identifying features as:  “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.”  The little lady we uncovered had several egg cases.  BugGuide also notes:  “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.”

Brown Widow

Though we see Black Widow’s with some degree of frequency around the offices, we haven’t noticed any in recent years.  We can’t help but wonder if our local species is being displaced by this recent introduction.  While the Black Widow’s bite is often regarded as potentially dangerous to sensitive individuals, the Brown Widow’s bite is generally not as serious.  Here is BugGuide‘s assessment:  “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). (Net Ref (4)) 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.”  We would still caution readers to avoid Brown Widow as the bite might still be unpleasant if not dangerous.

Brown Widow

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Black Widow spider
Location: Barnegat, NJ
May 9, 2012 10:10 pm
We have found many Black Widows in our back yard, and even though we have 2 medium sized dogs, we are not concerned at all with the spiders since we learned how much they just want to be left alone and are not aggressive at all. It seems like you mostly have to be looking for them in order to find them (under rocks, logs, etc.), and even when they are discovered, they have to have their lives threatened before they’ll bite. Otherwise, they are incredibly docile.
The 1st Black Widow spider we found was still a juvenile, and still had the red dots down its back. We kept it in a container for just one night before we released it into the woods far away from the neighborhood the next morning. In just that one night, it shed its exoskeleton! We kept the shedding in the container.
About 2 months later, right around Halloween, we found a very large mature Black Widow spider, and did the same thing — kept it in the same container as the 1st one before releasing it into the same woods later on that day. Before releasing both spiders, we (of course) took pictures.
The picture I’m attaching is of the 2nd, larger spider, with the shedding of the younger, smaller spider dangling above it. We were fascinated to see how you can easily see the outline of the fangs on the shedding!
We have since tried to let people know how these spiders get such a bad rap for unfair reasons, but not many are convinced. Fear has been ingrained deeply in some!
Hope you enjoy this macro shot for your wonderful site!
Signature: Thy Cavagnaro

Northern Black Widow

Hi Again Thy,
Thank you for sending in your photo of a mature Northern Black Widow.  Like your previous submission, we are tagging this with the Bug Humanitarian Award.  You are correct.  Black Widows are docile spiders that rarely leave their webs and they are not aggressive.  They are feared and reviled by so many folks who would much rather exterminate than learn anything of their habits.  We once had one living near an outdoor light outside of our Los Angeles office and the spider would hide by day and come out at night where she fed on moths and other insects attracted to the light.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination