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Southern Black Widow Spider

Latrodectus mactans


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.


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


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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Spotted by

Woodville, Texas, United States

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

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