Winter in Summerland: black widow

DSC02320 I am quite delayed in posting this, but better late than never. I should have one more post about what I found in the Okanagan soon after this one.

People say who you work with is more important than the work itself. Well, in my case I had the best co-worker, a black widow spider (Latrodectus spp.) which formed quite a nice web in my lab. I named her Queen of the Dungeon.

It is possible that it may have been a false black widow spider, but I was told that the red mark can be variable within individuals. The large black body told me it was a female, and the abdomen was large suggesting that it was gravid. She may have laid eggs at some point as the abdomen was leaner after a brief disappearance.

Black widow spiders are notorious for having a venomous bite, however bites are rarely fatal (if ever), and they tend not to be aggressive. I’m not sure on the exact species but I think it may have been Latrodectus hesparus (the Western species), since this was found in Western North America.

Links:

http://bugguide.net/node/view/1999

http://www.livescience.com/51014-black-widow-spiders-misconceptions.html

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One thought on “Winter in Summerland: black widow

  1. After 18 months in my garage, mine has laid a clutch of eggs, and devotingly guards it (from me). It fits perfectly in a sphere made by her cupped four front legs. Do you want some spider eggs? I don’t!

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