Spider Bites & Pets
Quick Reference Guide
Spider Hoaxes
Spiderzrule Forum
Spiderzrule Blog
Spider Web Construction
Spider Bite Treatment
Spider Removal
Spider Posters
Great Spider Photos
Spider Legends
Spider Superstitions
Web Photos
Questions & Answers
Year 5's Red-back 1998
Year 5's Spiders 2000
Year 5's Spiders 2001
Common Spiders Aus
Common Spiders USA
Australian Spiders -
Red-back
Australian Spiders -
Funnel-web
Other Spiders
Wandering Spider
Another Arachnid
Spider First Aid
Recluse bite photos
Famous Spider Poems
Our Spider Poems
Viewers' Spider Poems
Spider Songs
Spider Stories
Spider Letters
Spider Art
Kids' Spider Homes
Chocolate Spiders
Cookie Spiders
Spider Lessons
Online Exercises
Spider Food Hunt
Spider Links
Spider Awards
Main Page
Email

You are viewer

Hit Counter by Digits

Buy at Art.com
Spiders and Arachnids
Buy From Art.com
 
Buy at Art.com
Redslate Ornamental Taran...
Buy From Art.com
 
 
 

CHECK OUT MY NEW PAGES ON PETS - WWW.MYPETZRULE.COM!!

Spider Photos - Black Widow

Here's some photos of  Black Widows as well as links to Brown Widows and Redbacks.  Black Widow is a common name of some spiders in the genus Latrodectus which belong to the spider family Theridiidae, or the cobweb weavers. The North American species are (Western) Black widow, Latrodectus hesperus; (Southern) Black widow, Latrodectus mactans; (Northern) Black widow, Latrodectus variolus. Spiders of the genus Steatoda also belong to the spider family Theridiidae and are often confused with the widow spiders. Also known as Combfooted Spiders, this family includes a number of well known arachnids, including the American house spider, Achaearanea tepidariorum, and the redback and widow spiders, Latrodectus spp.. Steatoda spiders are found throughout the world, in both temperate and tropical climates. They are small to moderately small (3-9 mm) spiders with oval abdomens; they may be reddish, brownish or black, with most species exhibiting a white band at the front of the dorsal abdomen which may resemble a collar. Brown widows are easily confused with the harmless cobweb spiders so not all ID's below may be correct!! Click here for a mp4 of black widow babies hatching sent in by Ryan. (1.6mb) Use Quicktime to open. For other types of spiders please select a section:  Here's some photos sent in by viewers.
Unidentified Spiders 2016 Unidentified Spiders 2015 Unidentified Spiders 2014
Unidentified Spiders 2013 Unidentified Spiders 2012 Unidentified Spiders 2011
Unidentified Spiders 2010 Unidentified Spiders 2009 (1) Unidentified Spiders 2009 (2)
Unidentified Spiders 2008 (1) Unidentified Spiders 2008 (2) Unidentified Spiders 2007 (1)
Unidentified Spiders 2007 (2) Unidentified Spiders 2007 (3) Unidentified Spiders 2006 (1)
Unidentified Spiders 2006 (2) Unidentified Spiders 2006 (3) Unidentified Spiders 2005 (1)
Unidentified Spiders 2005 (2) Unidentified Spiders 2005 (3) Unidentified Spiders 2004 (1)
Unidentified Spiders 2004 (2) Unidentified Spiders 2003 Unidentified Spiders 2002
Unidentified Spiders 2001    
Spiders in Amber Closeups Ant & Wasp Mimicking Spiders
Argiopes/St. Andrew's Cross Barn Funnel Weaving Spider Basilica  Spiders
Bird Dropping Spiders Black House Spiders Bolas Spiders
Brown Recluse Spiders Candy Stripe Spiders Common House Spider
Crab Spiders Cyclosa Conica Daddy Long Legs
Daring Jumping Spiders Dew Drop Spiders Fishing Spiders
Funnel Web (Aus) Furrow Spider Garden Orb Weavers
Ghost Spider Giant House Spider Golden Orb Weavers
Grass spiders/Funnel Weavers Ground Spiders Hacklemesh Weavers
Hobo Spiders Huntsman Spiders Jewelled Spiders
Jumping Spiders Lace Web  Spiders Ladybird Spiders
Leaf Curling Spiders Long Jawed Orb Weavers Lynx Spiders
Marbled Orb Weavers Micarathena Mouse Spiders
Mygalomorphs Net casting Spider Nursery Web Spiders
Parson Spiders Pirate Spiders Pseudoscorpion
Purseweb Spider Red & Black Spiders Redback Spiders
Red Spotted Ant Mimic Spiders Running Crab Spiders Scorpion Spiders
Segestria Florentina Solfugids/Camel Spiders Southern House Spiders
Spider Tats Spitting Spiders Steatoda
Tailless Whip Scorpions Tarantulas Tengellid Spiders
Trapdoor Spiders Tree Trunk Spider Two Spined Spiders
Venusta Orchard Spiders Wandering Spiders White Tailed Spiders
Widow Spiders

Wolf Spiders

Woodlouse Hunters
Yellow & Broad faced Sac Spiders Zoropsis spinimana Zygiella x-notata
  Black Widow Brown Widow Redback Button Spiders

BLACK WIDOW 2001 - 2009

Black Widow spiders inhabit most of the warmer regions of the world to a latitude of about 45 degrees N. and S. They occur throughout all four deserts of the American Southwest. Related Species Widow spiders (Genus Latrodectus) are the best known and largest of the Cobweb Weavers (Family Therididae). All widows are venomous, though not all can cause injury to humans. Black Widows comprise about six species and inhabit most of the warmer regions of the world to a latitude of about 45 degrees N. The female black widow spider, though it is the most venomous spider in North America, seldom causes death as it injects a very small amount of poison when it bites. Reports indicate human mortality at well less than 1% from black widow spider bites. Anyone bitten by a black widow spider should seek medical care. Black widow spiders are common around wood piles, and are frequently encountered when homeowners carry firewood into the house. They are also found under eaves, in boxes, outdoor toilets, meter boxes, and other unbothered places. Black widows have a distinctive round shiny black abdomen with red markings usually under its abdomen. They are a small spider with thin legs and the female's abdomen becomes larger just before laying her egg sac. Males are considerably smaller and usually not as dangerous as the female due to their size.

..

Reply: This is a black widow, the US version of the redback - glen

2 December, 2009:
I took pictures the best I could. The spider is underneath the rim of a flower pot. Please let me know if this is a Red back & if so, are they supposed to be in Alabama?

..

2 December, 2009:
Hello Glen,here are some Black Widow pictures taken around my parents house in Southern California.Enjoy.............. MC

Click for a larger view

..
Reply: Thanks, nice shot, click for a close up - glen

9 November, 2009:
Hi Glen, I love your site. It's been a great help to me. I've used it to identify many spiders that are new to me. Here are some photos I thought maybe you'd enjoy. 1st is a picture of a male and female orb weaver mating, 2nd is Black Widow feeding on scorpion. I also have a questionable that I will send in a separate email. Leann

..

Reply: This is a black widow so I'd be careful around it - glen

11 October, 2009:
Hey glen I found this spider outside our slider by our dog toys in Washington state. Just want to see if it is a black widow or not and should i be concerned for our pets?

..

10 October, 2009:
found this spider on a flower pot. I'm thinking it’s a juvenile black widow but not sure. Can you tell me what it is. Thanks, Bill Brady

..

28 August, 2009:
These photos were taken in Maryland. We took the spider from her web, with the stick, and placed her in the sunlight for the photos. We then placed her back near her web. From other photos, on your website, I assume she is a female black widow. We forgot to examine her underbelly for the hourglass.

..

Reply: Yes they quite often eat prey a lot larger than they are - glen
6 August
, 2009:
Hi, took this picture yesterday of a black widow eating a lizard. This is in Albuquerque, NM. Thought it was rather strange, wondering if you'd ever heard of a black widow eating a lizard? Feel free to use the picture for whatever!! Natalie

..

3 August, 2009:
Hey guys. Can you help with this spider? Thanks Bob

 

..

29 June, 2009:
I attached a picture of the black widow we have. She is lovely. I still haven't been able to photograph the one I thought was a brown widow (similar pic in the link I sent.) I think I have a nice spot scouted out for the black one and her eggs. I thought about the black box in the ground where the water meter is (since I've seen several in the one @ my mom's house,) but the water co. just worked on it and it seems really unstable. Yeah, I used to have some high anxiety regarding spiders, but they don't bother me anymore (I actually really like the tiny ones I find in my house) unless they're big and hairy or from AUSTRALIA (I watch a lot of documentaries on venomous animals.) I teach school, too...4th grade in Navarre, FL. Hopefully you didn't catch my misspelling in the first note I sent. Thanks again for your help and your site is great! Krista

..

Reply: It looks like a black widow - glen

10 May, 2009:
Hello, I am trying to find someone that can identify this spider I came across today. I live in central North Carolina and found this specimen among a pile of scrap steel. I immediately thought it to be a male widow but don't know and can't find a picture. Thanks you for your time, Wayne

..

Reply: It certainly looks like the black widow - glen


14 April, 2009:
I discovered this spider crawling up my leg yesterday. I thought it looked different, so I decided to take a picture of it. And now I wonder WHAT was crawling up my leg. Thanks, Amy, Birmingham, Alabama

..

Reply: It looks like the black widow has moulted and been unable to get away from its old skin and died like that.
17 January, 2009:
Hi, I came upon your spiderzrule website and was hoping you could help, in either answering a question or posting my question/photographs so that I could find the answer from others that might know? We recently moved to a suburb in Southern San Diego (about 10 miles from Mexico in an area that 30 years ago was all mountains and canyons and undeveloped much). I've seen two black widows in our back yard, which was easily identifiable of course with the hourglass on the abdomen.  I once saw this type of spider "hooked" together (by the legs) of a black widow spider- I could not tell if they had shed their skin?? or if they had injected each other and were both dead?? ..it was weird.  If you decide to post this to the website can you let me know so I can check back on responses you get?? thanks!! Jennifer

..

30 December, 2008:
Photos I thought you'd like... Feel free to use this care sheet for black widows for yourself, or to distribute! Click here for Stefan's Care Sheet. (1.09Mb pdf)
Stefan

 

..

25 October, 2008:
Hello, We keep finding widow spiders in our home. I cannot tell if they are immature black widows or if they are brown widows and no one seems to be able to answer the question for me. I have never seen an egg sac which I know would be very helpful in telling which they are. Is there any other way to tell the difference? I have attached a photo of a small one, but I am also finding ones that are up to an inch to an inch and a half (including legs) - that are brown and yellow in color, with their hourglass being cream colored to yellow. At this size wouldn't a black widow be changing color already or not? I cannot seem to find anything that talks about how large the black widow is when it begins to change color and look more "typical." I have a newborn and am very paranoid over this. We have already had our home chemically treated for spiders which has done nothing to help the problem. Thanks so much. Robyn

..

27 September, 2008:
Glen, Here is another juvenile black widow photo for your site. Caught in Rogers Arkansas USA Craig

..

28 August,  2008:
Hi..I live in Maryland..Denton...on the Eastren Shore. I found this GAL?// in my bucket today..is she a Black widow? And what should I do with her? She looks like she's ready to have babys...and I don't kill any thing...but we have a few small children around here...should I take her away and let her go? Thanks , Maria
Let me know if the pic's are o.k.

..
28 August,  2008:
Hi! It's been a while! Haven't seen too many little spiders at the new house yet, mostly because they don't visit often inside (except the occasional wolf or jumping spider,) and we haven't spent much time outside. (Summer here is pretty dreadful.) But Mike found this beautiful female western black widow devouring a grasshopper outside today when he went to tend to the yard. An absolutely lovely example of an immature female, with her youthful markings still visible on her comely backside! :) Hope you enjoy! Mike and Niki

..
15 August,  2008:
Hi there Glen came across this lady while working on some pipes at work. Lethbridge Alberta Canada. Jonathan

..
5 August,  2008:
Hi Glen, I spotted this unique little Spider on my grandmother's front door, under the carport the other day. She has a LOT of Black Widows and Steadota around her house and in her basement, so that lead me to suspect that this Spider is a male Black Widow. That, and the fact that it had a red hourglass mark on its underside, which I tried and tried to photograph, but couldn't. I took some video of this Spider in addition to the pictures - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zD4_JA8bssc. Feel free to use the pictures if you want. --Damy

..
20 July, 2008:
Hi Glen, Here are two pics of spiders in my backyard... one, obviously is a Green Lynx (male), the other one I had identified by a professor at UC Irvine... I was really stumped, and he told me that this was a Black Widow Juvenile... as they grow the white with stripes fade to dots, then all black with the familiar red hourglass... So, if anyone comes across this cool looking white spider with stripes - be warned! It's a Black Widow!!! Mariellen

..
1 March, 2008:
Hi Glen, I thought you might like to see and possibly use these pics I snapped of this big female Black Widow spider. I really didn't realize what it was until after I had let her crawl all over my dresser and get very close to my hands. She seemed docile enough, and struck several good poses for me. I didn't realize it was a Black Widow to begin with because: 1. It was out crawling around on some plywood. 2. It was covered in some kind of dust or powder and wasn't shiny like others I've seen. 3. It was much larger than any I've seen under rotten logs and such. After the photo shoot, I took her to the edge of our property and let her go in the ditch. Feel free to use my photos if yo
--Damy

..
17 October, 2007:
 
Hi there,
I was wondering if you would be able to help me, by identifying this spider in the image. Somebody told me it was a 'Black Widow' spider, but i am not sure. The Image was taken in cabin i was staying in Yosemite National Park, California by Bass Lake. This pic was taken in roughly July/Sept 2004 right in the middle of the Summer.
Cheers
Alex

 

..

Reply: Looks more like a juvenile female to me.
6 October, 2007:

Hi Glen, I am hoping you can tell if the attached pictures are a male or female black widow. It just appeared in the closet today and has my entire family in an uproar about staying in the house.  The spider was in its web between two shoes. Any help you can offer would be great. Thanks, Scott Suwanee, GA USA (Atlanta)

..

3 September, 2007:
 

Here are some pictures of spiders we've found in our Chandler, AZ home. The black widow is pretty obvious, but we thought the the wolf spider with eggs was pretty amazing, and we are pretty sure it's a sun spider with those long antennae legs and fangs! Hope they are interesting to you, and if we're mistaken on any please let us know! Thanks! Debbie

..

3 September, 2007:
Hey Glen! I love your site!! This is a black widow I found outside my folks house in Angleton, Texas (South of Houston). She was already dead from pestaside probably, but not before having plenty of babies. I have a ton out in the shed but most are dying out because of weather. Hope you can use the pics! Amber Sirmans

..
11 August, 2007:
i have not seen a black widow with dots on its side and a hour glass shape on its belly at the same time.

Click for a larger view

..
15 July,  2007:
Hey Glen, Came across your website today, great stuff! Anyhoo, I had some  photos of spiders I've found around our house and though perhaps you  could use them on your website. I'm all too familiar with the black  widow (wish the quality was a bit better) and the one below I'm  thinking is a Wolf Spider? Found another one just like it clinging
for life on our pool thermometer the other day. I rescued it and set  it free in our cactus garden. I'm hoping I get some good spider  karma out of it. By which I mean, none of the little devils in my  house, take Care, Aimy

..
12 May, 2007:
This beauty was in her web up here on the mountain (West Virginia) She let me get real close, for this shot... (and thanks for the info, on the Nursery web spider :--)))
peace, Marlene

Click for a larger view

..
12 March, 2007:
Here is a picture of a female Black Widow with her light yellow egg sac. I snapped the picture shortly after discovering her in the base of my shovel as I was about to use it with open sandals. YIKES! That was close. She ran out of the little nook of a hiding place where the shovel metal meets the
wood pole/handle just as I put my foot on it to start to dig. She actually moved her sacs (there were 3) with her out of hiding. I'm lucky I saw her, as she was barely an inch from my exposed skin and I'm sure she would have protected those eggs. This was taken in the North Tampa Bay area of Florida. Feel free to use it on your great site. Thought you might find it helpful, as the egg sacs are easier to spot sometimes than the spider itself that may be hiding just a short distance away. Regards, Nikole

Reply: This is unusual as the egg sac is not a black widow's egg sac but that of a brown widow because it has those spikes on it.
 

..
12 March, 2007:
Hello, I am in North Carolina And was wondering if the Redback was common for this area. I attached a picture of the spider I believe we are seeing a lot of in our house. We are just trying to figure out what we are dealing with.
Thank You for your time. Melissa Church

 

..
8 October, 2006:
I found your website and thought I would show you a picture that I took of a Black Widow attacking a lizard that got hung up in its web.

..
25 September, 2006:
I found your site trying to find out what this spider I found was I believe it is a northern black widow the underside of the abdomen is hard to see but it has the broken hour glass on it what do you think???
Christy
Northern Michigan

 

..
16 September, 2006:
Glen, I managed to get some great shots these last few days of a Black Widow, some Banana Spiders and Some Wolf Spiders. Hope you can use them!
- Jason

Click for a larger view.

..
8 September, 2006:
Hi Glen, I finally got an ID on that black widow juvenile I sent you. It is a Western Black Widow: (L. hesperus). Not sure of the gender yet. I have since had the rare opportunity to catch a snapshot of one of my adult female residents. This photo is rare for me because they usually flee when I get close. This gal startled, then ran to one of her two egg sacks. Out of the shadow came the male to settle at a short distance ,away. I was in awe to see all this in one frame! I was hoping I did not agitate the momma into devouring daddy. I have left them alone since. I took the photo 9-6-06. Thanks for all your help.Candy, El Mirage, AZ

..
3 September, 2006:
Hi Glen - I came across your wonderful spider site. I am sending you two of
my photos for your site. They were both taken in Peralta New Mexico, twenty
miles south of Albuquerque. The first, taken today, is I think a argiope spider, and the second I  believe is a black widow.

Sue

..

3 September, 2006:
Hey' Glen, I hadn't planned on sending in any black widow photos, seeing as you already have so many good ones posted. But these came out pretty good and include a male. Found these under a patio table and transferred them to a ten gal aquarium for picture taking. Interesting note; they had been in the tank for less than ten minutes when, on a whim, I caught a moth [it was night and there were many about] and offered it to the female. It instantly started wrapping it in web and was shortly feeding on it, odd that...Anyway,use them if you like. Regards, Roy

..

27 August, 2006:
Glen, I found this spider living by my pool filter. I thought it might be a black widow, however, it does not have the traditional red hourglass shape. Here is a photo, can you identify this spider? Rich , New Jersey

..

27 August, 2006:
I have many of these in my yard. They share the web with the obvious adult mature females, although they are out in the daylight. They hang upside down in the
web. I only see the black females after dark. Are these much smaller ones males or imature females?
Candy
Phoenix AZ

..

13 August, 2006:
Glen, Thought I would share a couple of photos I have taken over the last few days where I live in West Central Georgia, USA. Your site has been so helpful in identifying some of the spiders I have encountered recently. Attached are photos I took of a Brown Widow, Black Widow, and a Green Lynx. I hope you can use them. - Jason

..
..

 

3 July, 2006:
Black Widow with Egg-Rich Swanner

Click for a larger view.

..

28 June, 2006:

You can use it for your site if you would like

Best Regards,
Todd Avery

Click for a larger view.

..

1 June, 2006:
From today Black Widow takes Bee-Rich Swanner

Click for a larger view.

 

..

1 February, 2006:
Glen- Ursula, our pet Black Widow had babies. They are about two days old.
Here are photos next to an American dime.
Lee

..

18 December, 2005:
Took these about 10 minutes ago- caught her here in our outdoor shed in
San Diego, CA.

//Todd

..

7 December, 2005:.
I also found this northern black widow which i thought  was cool. feel free to use them on your web page if you feel like it. I love
spiders can you tell?lol ..

..

21 November, 2005:
Glen can you use any of these Black Widow shots? I tried to get more full spider only pics.-Rich

..

13 November, 2005:
cool site! I have a female black widow living in my bathroom. I'd like to capture her & release her somewhere, & would like suggestions on how best to accomplish this. meanwhile, what can I feed her? no flies around & I'm keeping that door shut to make sure my cats don't think she'd like to play...

..

11 November, 2005:
Another Reply: With regards to the response by Jim to the spider on September 15, 2005, I thought I'd send a few pictures of the black widow I found without the hourglass marking on the underside. I don't know if you can use this at all, but if so, I'm glad to share it. Elaine

Some more info: Your site is certainly informative and interesting, although the weird stuff I come across now and then, I can never seem to find, seems there are tons of spiders here in Ohio that haven't been classified yet, oh well. Any rate, there was one thing I noticed you posted and I think you should be aware of it, less someone thinks the pretty shiny large black spider crawling out of their newspaper is harmless because it doesn't have a red hourglass. The northern black widow found in my area can have no discernible red mark or marks on the underside at all. I have found a couple in my 1920s home, one on my porch, in newspapers I brought in to start fire and the other outside in an old camper, I am vary familiar with widows and am not a novice, I have caught many in Florida while visiting there (they did have an hourglass of course) and I have since learned they can have a slight yellowish mark also, but have never seen this first hand. This is in reply to this you posted, again, nice site, thanks, Jim

 

 Reply: This looks like a Black Widow, probably Latrodectus mactans. I cannot be sure without seeing the red hourglass shape found on the underbelly, but Black Widow bites are medically significant, so be careful.
Brian Post

15 September, 2005:
Hi I was just wondering if you know what kind of spider this is. I found it crawling up my wall one morning. Thank you.
Brooke

.

21 September, 2005:
Here’s a couple more widow pics. Also, forwarded a picture of a large, unknown spider. Possibly Carolina wolf? Quite large – would estimate 4” or more legspan. Dave B, San Antonio, Texas

..

12 September, 2005:
Here's some great photos from Rich Swanner.
All photos are copyright to their owners and my not be reproduced without permission. Click for a larger view.

..

14 August, 2005:
i am also raising a reproducing female Black Widow, she had one of her three egg sacs open today somewhere between 200 to 350
babies. i also have numerous photos of her, egg sacs, sac building, egg laying, and the kids playing. respectfully yours,
badair

..

19 July, 2005:
Just thought you may want these “beauties”for your website (which is great by the way).
  House under construction in what WAS country –so, not unexpected.  San Antonio, Texas
Appears to be Black Widows – no questionthat the pair is a male and female.  The single one is unusual – its webis on the porch over 10’ high.  I’ll try to get better photos – didn’twant to disturb to get the hourglass – but it is there (didn’t havethe camera at the time).    Thanks!!!!  Dave Brabec

..

15 May, 2005:
My kids found a spider outside and it was in our chair. I thought it was a black widow it had the red hour glass on its belly and on its back there were yellow markings. I can not seem to find it on the internet anywhere to learn more about it. I did take pictures of it and I will attach it to the email.  Hope you can help me out some.  (To me they look a little like a brown widow.) Thank you, Sherri Lutz from southern  California

..

23 October, 2004:
Found this Widow in my garage, next morning, a scorpion decided to join the party. Both were dead so I’m guessing they didn’t get along well. (Scorpion is still dangling in web)

..

15 October, 2004:
I'm sending you my best spider pics from the last couple months. Thought you might like to have them for your image library, maybe display a couple in the "known" spider pages. I'm getting better at capturing close-ups. One of these days I'll get a real good shot of that Jumper. Until then... Keep up the good work, I love your site! Cheers, Terry Lucas, Lakewood, Ca.
Click photo for some lovely close ups. Bottom 2 photos are are brown widows.

..

14 October, 2004:  
My name is Irish Jordan. I found this spider in my back yard.. thought I would send you a pic..  I think it is a black widow..
Thanks.

..

11 October, 2004:  
Hi there, I wonder if you can help. Whilst on a recent holiday to Sarawak Borneo we came across a lot of these spiders. They varied in size from approximately 1 inch to 2inches.  I have tried to look it up in various guide books but not yet identified it, the nearest I get is a Black widow, But this has whitish stripes as you can see. I thank you in anticipation for any help give. Kind Regards, Steve. P.S. please us photo freely.

..

1 September, 2004:
Hi Glen,
I ran across this site while trying to identify an infestation of spiders at my house. It appears to be a juvenile black widow with the hourglass but we still haven’t found any black ones. We’ve found about a dozen of these and few variations of this but I was hoping to confirm if this is a black or not? Also do you have any ideas on the best way to get rid of this type of infestation?
Thanks so much,
Bill, San Diego

..

26 August, 2004:
Glen,
I have a few photos of what I thought was a red back but (though slightly  disappointed) found that this is a common coloration of black widows in  the United States. Regardless a lot of work went into photographing the  markings so they should go somewhere! Images can be taken from  http://incertaesedis.com (rather than email them to you and fill your
mail box).
Ethan Marsh
Orem, UT

..

22 August, 2004: Glenn- About 6-7 weeks ago my pop was- cleaning our back patio and found a brownish spider w/interesting markings that we had never seen before. So we got on the internet and found your web site w/the awesome photos. We determined
that our brownish spider was either a male black widow or a young female black widow. We decided to feed it and watch it for a while. Pop put the spider in a small jar & fed it flies he caught. About 2 weeks later our brown spider shed its skin and was definitely a small female black widow. We were surprised to see that it shed its skin and couldn't find anything/photos on the internet about spiders shedding their skin. So have
kept her and fed her in her new "skippy peanut butter jar - spider condo". And she has shed her skin again (bigger skin in small jar). We've decided to send you photos of the original small jar w/her 2 skin
remains/sheddings/moltings?, plus view of the "skippy peanut butter condo"
and then a close up of her red markings.
-Sabrina & Pete
Sacramento CA Aug 2004

..

21 August, 2004:
Found this young black widow on one of my child's toy cars left in my yard. It was actually under the steering wheel. If my 2 year old daughter hadn't complained about the web getting all over her, I would have never looked.
Craig Richardson
Rogers Arkansas

..
29 July, 2004:
Do you know what kind of spider this is? It has the body of a Black Widow, but how
about that racing strip. These pictures taken just outside of Whitney, Texas (USA). By the way the other spider in the picture was alive and moving around. Could it possibly the male of the species.
David
Reply: Certainly looks like a female black widow and the smaller male.

..
23 October, 2003:
Thanks so much for your prompt response and for your help. It's interesting that others in the US have sent you photos of spiders with similar markings. The thing is, this is the first population of adult female black widows with such markings our nature centre has heard of. All specimens of our local Latrodectus hesperus we have ever seen around here have been solid black once they've finished moulting and have started producing egg sacs. Had only one such spider been found, we probably would have chalked it up to being a mutant adult that had somehow retained her juvenile coloration. But as this is an entire population, our curiosity has been piqued. Local entomologists are also surprised. I have a feeling that the others in the US who've sent you similar photos have been likewise surprised by errant spiders precisely because their coloration is not common. Others I've talked to have suggested that it's possible that an introduced Latrodectus female could have started a colony here. However, I have yet to find a source for pictures of specimens of the many Latrodectus species in order to see if any have similar markings. Do you happen to know of such a resource? Also, do you happen to know if different species of Latrodectus can hybridize? Thanks so much for your help,
Kate

..
22 October, 2003:
My name is Kate Lain, and I work at Eaton Canyon Nature Center in Pasadena, California. I came across your website while searching the web for photos that might help in identifying a couple of black widow spiders we recently acquired. A few weeks ago, a man brought in two female black widow spiders, each with red and white markings on the dorsum of the abdomen. I know that our local Latrodectus hesperus juveniles and males have those types of markings, but these are pretty large females. One of them is done molting, as she's produced two egg sacs in the last week, and the other is larger than she is. Also interesting is that the fellow who brought these in said that the markings on these were representative of the markings he found on all the females at his worksite. Is it normal to find a population of adult Latrodectus hesperus females who've retained their juvenile patterns? Do you think this might be a different species that's gotten established at this fellow's worksite? I've attached four photos so you can take a look.
Thanks,
Kate Lain
Eaton Canyon Nature Center
Pasadena, California
USA

..

17 October, 2003:
Hello! I was searching on the internet to see what kind of spider this was that my husband found when I came across your site. I was wondering if you could tell me if this is a redback black widow? It was under our dogs water dish. Thanks!
Krista

Reply: Yes it is a black widow,
glen

../font>

17 October, 2003:
Hi,
This is my first time at this site and its great. I live in Lakewood California and have seen so many different kinds of spiders in my backyard. But mostly black widows. lots of black widows. So many that I cant help feel that they high tension power lines that are in this field behind my backyard must be mutating the spiders with radiation from the power lines But on a serious note recently my daughter took this photo in our backyard, and I am unable to identify it. It looks similar to the black widow but no hour glass was apparent. Maybe you can tell me what it is. Its shown in a small web at the bass of a tire. It was pretty big. And in one of the photos there appears to be two thin white lines at the front of the spider. Could that be eyes?
Thanks , Victor

../font>
Reply: 12 July, 2003:
The spider in the photos by Laurie Grover on July 8, 2003 could be a juvenile female Latrodectus hasselti (redback spider) or a juvenile female Latrodectus hesperus (western black widow). Considering the chlorinator where the spider was found had recently been shipped from Australia, its reasonable to assume L. hasselti could have hitched a ride half-way around the world to Texas, in the US. Several species of juvenile females in the Latrodectus genus (widow spiders) tend to look similar to each other and even among the same species, the coloring and patterns tend to vary to some extent. To be sure about the identification, the best thing to do would be to submit the specimen to an entomologist (preferably specializing in arachnology). As the widow spiders molt, their patterns gradually change and as the spider reaches adulthood, it may be easier to identify.
There are presently five species of widow spiders found in the US:
Latrodectus bishopi - red widow (central and southern Florida only)
Latrodectus geometricus - brown widow (Florida only - introduced)
Latrodectus hesperus - western black widow (western US)
Latrodectus mactans - southern black widow (southern and eastern US)
Latrodectus variolus - northern black widow (eastern US, northern Florida)
Of those five species, only adult female Latrodectus mactans and Latrodectus hesperus are black and have complete red hourglasses on the ventral side of the abdomen near the spinnerets. The adult female Latrodectus variolus is also black, but the red hourglass is "broken" into two pieces. Latrodectus variolus also has a row of red spots down the middle of its abdomen.
Handy references:

http://www.austmus.gov.au/factsheets/redback.htm
http://www.smallestroom.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/widows.htm
http://www.smallestroom.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/species_file_.htm
(Latrodectus hasselti is misspelled as Latrodectus hassleti at the above URL)
http://www.gifte.de/latrodectus-arten.htm
The above URL can be translated into English (via Google):
Josh & Emily
FloridaNature.org

8 August, 2003:
Glen,
About two weeks after she molted - she had her stripes and other marks just fade away leaving her with two red marks- the one hourglass on the bottom and a red spot her back- She did not do as the books and a couple of experts said it would disappear after a molt- two weeks after a molt. She now lives at a local chemical store and has a room-mate (in another container). Did not have the heart to kill her after all we learned about her even
though my daughter is allergic to spiders bites!
Laurie

13 July, 2003:
Hi- Thanks for the reply- I believe that she is Latrodectus hasselti. She molted and no change in her pattern on her back or bottom- hourglass is not broken, red outlined by white - one circle red with white outline.
The link to this spider is 98% match to her http://www.xs4all.nl/~ednieuw/australian/theridiidae/Theridiidae.html
top photo curled up or open
We have bought crickets to feed her she sure enjoys her bug slurpie. She is fatter in the back end I took photos yesterday did not turn out. She is now bigger than a quarter with her legs extended- which comes darn close to being full grown- which if she was just a fancy black widow (southern) she would of lost some of her markings when she molted. We will work on a better picture today. I am not opposed to placing her in alcohol and shipping her away but this will not help to developed anti-toxin. If she arrived in August last year-you can do the math I have killed three other that were small one very very young ones-. The redback # 4 image (FROM THE WEB NOT OUR PHOTO) has the markings the closet to ours since she has had a good meal her back end is not black but a reddish brown black. Where her legs appear black black by comparison.
My pest control guy has been doing this over 20 years and has see all species of widows he has never seen one like this. He has seen the fancy baby spiders but the lines are usually faint (red lines) and at this size he has never seen it with red like this. He has seen they with gray hourglass and partial hourglasses, also the brown versions.
Just like with the West Nile Virus- I told people that would have to contend with it coming to Texas- Now three years after I wrote letters it is here. My city does not spray for mosquitoes- City of Austin does. The City of Round Rock does not and the mosquitoes (where we live) are the size of small birds- (ya- you know that all the bugs are bigger in Texas) (Texas Humor). When the Mosquitoes attack all day worse during day light than at night you know you have a problem.
Again Thanks,
Laurie

../font>
8 July, 2003:
Hi Glen,
Love your website! I have photos from what I believe is a Red Back Spider. I have been told that the Red Back is the second most poisonous spider is this true? It was under a rock edge at my pool on the waterfall side. We purchased a salt water chlorinator from AU. We live out side Austin, Texas. She is alive and in a jar, we just gave her a live spider to eat.  Can you look at and tell me- she does not fit the false black widow spider pattern or color. She is shiny black has an hour glass on the abdomen, red stripe on her back, I killed one that looked like an baby one light brown with a red strip. - I would like to know - please. (for those I BCC on the mailing list check out the pics of the spider)
Laurie Grover

../font>
16 June, 2003:
A lovely Western Black Widow spider
(lactrodectus hesperus) with a locust. This unfortunate grasshopper flew from a bush right into the widow's web, and she wasted no time in securing it.
barb

../font>
Here's a Black Widow sent in by Alley. They are the American equivalent of Australia's Red Back Spider. Click the photo for a larger picture.

Hi There,
Someone sent me your spider page... very cool. I thought you'd like my picture of my wee little black widow in my garden. She was about 4 inches long when this was taken.

Best wishes
Alley

 




 

../font>
Here's some more Black Widow pictures sent in by Tim. The one on the top right without the typical black and red colouring is a young one. Click each photo for a larger picture.
26 August, 2001: I found these Spiders in my shop. I live in Chelan, WA. USA. I did not know they were in the USA, this is the first spider of this type that I have seen. I currently have them in a jar of alcohol, as they are cool looking spiders, but I did not want to breed Red Back's here in Chelan. Thanks for the cool web site
Tim

..

7 April, 2001:
"We wanted you to know we found your site when trying to find information on the Red Back Spider, which we see is common to Australia. We found a small male Red Back on the floor mat just inside our back door. We live in southern Louisiana, USA in a heavily wooded area near a bayou, and see all types of creatures here, but this is our first Red Back. I hear the Red Back is also considered to be a Widow variety spider. Enclosed is a photo of our guest in a glass jar. - Steve Lemoine"

.
UNIDENTIFIED LACTRODECTUS

18 June, 2006:

can u tell me what kind of spider this is thank you
Lucas young

 

..
Buy at Art.com
The Amazing Spider-Man #5...
Buy From Art.com
Buy at Art.com
The Sensational Spider-Ma...
Buy From Art.com
Buy at Art.com
Spider-Man In the City
Buy From Art.com
Buy at Art.com
Marvel Comics Retro: The ...
Buy From Art.com
Buy at Art.com
Amazing Spider-Man Family...
Buy From Art.com

Here's a really worthwhile site to help support the kids in Africa who are suffering in the AIDS epidemic. Click on the banner for more info.>
Google