Currently viewing the category: "Cobweb Spiders"

Easter Egg Spider
Location: San Fernando Valley, California
April 25, 2012 3:33 am
This little lady – I’m assuming its a lady – interrupted our Easter festivities. After a good deal of floundering and some heebie jeebies (I don’t have a good relationship with spiders) we managed to shoo her off into the garden. We’re curious to what she is, though, she almost looks like an Easter Egg herself. I have not tried searching the internet because I am arachnaphobic.
Signature: Cautiously Curious

Brown Widow

Dear Cautiously Curious,
In our opinion, this is a Brown Widow, an introduced species that might bite, though it is not considered as dangerous as the Black Widow.  See BugGuide for additional information.

Thank you for the quick response. There was an orange hourglass on her side – one of us wondered if she was an albino black widow, but that didn’t seem right. I’d never heard of brown widows before – looks like we’re lucky she put up with our efforts to move her, even if she’s not as lethal as a black widow.

Male Northern Black Widow?
Location: Greensboro, NC
April 10, 2012 12:40 pm
We found this guy in the windowsill at our house in Greensboro, NC. After a few hours googling and much deliberation we decided it must be a Male Northern Black Widow, any chance you can confirm it for us?
We could never get a very good picture of it’s underbelly but could tell there was a red mark, just not sure the shape.
Thanks for the help!
Signature: Not 100% sure

Male Widow Spider

Dear Not 100% sure,
This is a male Widow Spider in the genus
Latrodectus, and it is most likely a Northern Black Widow, Latrodectus variolus, based on photos posted to BugGuide.

Male Widow Spider

gold black widow???
Location: fontana, CA(50 miles from the coast, east of Los Ageles)
November 28, 2011 8:04 pm
Hello bugman,
I found this spider in my property it is the second one I’ve found. I did some research and it apears it might be an African species, it was hidding in a funnel like web, its cream color, and the hour glass underneath appears to be orange in color. Can you correct me in my identification? or did I got it rigth?
Signature: bajaboy28

Brown Widow

Dear bajaboy28,
You are correct.  This is a Brown Widow,
Latrodectus geometricus, a species native to Africa that has become naturalized in much of the southern portion of the United States.  According to BugGuide:  “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.”  BugGuide indicates this about the bite:  “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.”

I’m freaked out. There were two of them.
Location: Souther California
October 27, 2011 9:41 pm
I just moved to L.A. I didn’t have much furniture so I ran to the Goodwill and grabbed a rolling cabinet for the kitchen. That was last week. And today I was greeted by two of these terrifying creatures. I’ve been searching and searching online and am beginning to get suspicious. Some places say it’s harmless, some say it’s an immature female black widow. What is it?? Can it hurt my cat?
A picture of its top and its bottom.
Signature: Freaking Out

Immature Black Widow

Dear Freaking Out,
This is an immature Black Widow, most likely the Western Black Widow.  They are quite common in Southern California.  They are not aggressive.  They rarely leave their webs.

Immature Black Widow


Steatoda grossa?
Location: Western New York
October 11, 2011 11:07 pm
I found this spider in a web above my window. Looking at pics of Steatoda grossa, it seems to be a match. But I am asking a pro, to satisfy my own curiosity.
Signature: Tim from Fredonia, NY

Cobweb Spider

Hi Tim,
We believe this is one of the Cobweb Spiders in the family Theridiidae, but we cannot confirm that is is the False Widow,
Steatoda grossa, which is pictured on BugGuide.  The family also contains the notorious Widow Spiders in the genus Lactrodectus, but we feel confident that we can exclude them from the possibilities for your individual’s identity.  We believe the strongest contenders are the members of the genus Theridion, also well represented on BugGuide.  Perhaps one of our readers more skilled in spider identification will be able to provide something more definitive.  

How big can black widows get?
Location: Sanford, NC
August 26, 2011 10:52 am
My husband was moving the basketball hoop in our yard (getting ready for the huricane), when we spotted this huge spider with an even bigger egg sack. she was the size of a dime and her sack more like a nickel. The biggest spider and sack we had ever seen. Under the hoop was also 3 other large sacks and 2 smaller black widows. We did exterminate them, as our 4 children & small dog play in that area with no shoes on. My question is: how big can black widows get? I did not know that they got this large! Thank you
Signature: Keriann

Northern Black Widow

Hi Keriann,
The red spotting on the back of this mature Widow identifies her as a Northern Black Widow based on the information contained on BugGuide.  We have seen adult female Western Black Widows with abdomens nearly as large as a marble or a small grape.  These are mature females that are most likely filling with eggs.  While we feel badly that you have exterminated several Black Widows from your basketball court, we fully understand your concern for your children and pets.  Black Widows are not an aggressive species, and they are rarely found far from their web, unless they have been disturbed.  We once allowed a Western Black Widow to keep her web by our porch light.  We knew she was there and we were not concerned about getting attacked.  You would be much safer to fully educate the children regarding the dangers of being bitten by a Black Widow and ensuring that they learn to recognize them.  If you killed three individuals in your yard, there are most likely more to be found in hidden locations and you will probably not be able to eliminate them all.  We hope Hurricane Irene steered clear of your area.