Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Black widow

Last weekend, Blanco science teacher Pam Meier messaged me the photo above and asked what it was. I knew it was a black widow, but the red markings top her abdomen were new to me. I've only seen black widows with the characteristic red hourglass marking on their tummies. 

Monday evening, she brought me the widow in a plastic drink bottle. I transferred her into a glass jar with a piece of cardboard so she could climb onto something. The feet of cobweb spiders are only designed to crawl on webs, not glass (a jumping spider could have climbed up the inside of the jar). I caught her a small moth that night and figured she'd be fine. I was sort of looking forward to keeping a spider at my desk, like I used to do years ago.

Little did I know that James had "prayed to Jesus about this and this morning my prayer was answered." He wanted my spider lady to DIE. And SHE DID! One minute, she was hanging upside down in her paper roll, and an hour or so later, she was curled up at the bottom of the jar! (So the little moth lived to see another day outside.)

Sigh. Well, I decided I might as well get her to lie in state so I could shoot some images for my collection. So there she is!  

In the meantime, I queried Bugguide.net to ask about which widow species this one might be, and so far Jeff H. has said western black widow (Latrodectus hesperus). 

1 comment:

Rock rose said...

I have yet to see a black widow spider in Texas and that is just fine with me. Often saw them in California.

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