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Southern Black Widow Spider

Latrodectus mactans

Description:

There are seven species of Black Widow spider, divided by geographic regions. The Southern Black Widow is well known for it's shiny black body with a red X or hourglass on the venter of the abdomen. Although there can be some variation in shades, those in the infestation I found were all very dark black. The body is 12-13 cm (1/2 inch) long with long front legs used for wrapping the prey in silk. As seen in photos #4-5, their web isn't exactly a work of art, but is very effective in catching unwary insects.

Habitat:

This infestation was found in a well house on an acreage in SE Texas (80 masl).

Notes:

I was working with the water system for my daughter's house when I opened the door to the well-house and was greeted by many, many black widows. Looking closely at photos #5 you can see one egg that appears to have hatched and in photo #5 the little spiderlings surrounding Mom. I didn't see any males, but then, they do call them "widows" don't they.

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Tukup
Spotted by
Tukup

Woodville, Texas, United States

Spotted on Jun 15, 2010
Submitted on Apr 2, 2020

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