Well, that's a real nice photo. Did you get a look at the belly? Is this photo right side up? Females will be belly up and usually have the red hourglass. FWIK, male can have the red hourglass or some colored bands on the abdomen. Looks like your guy (girl) has some colored bands on it's back. A black widow has a solid colored back, doesn't it?
I'm not an expert by any means and have exhausted my extensive knowledge of spiders :-) Hope someone else knows! I hate spiders, but that really is a good photo, nice job!
the bite is extremely painful (not during, but after). i cannot stress enough how sick you become. i had the unfortunate experience several years ago. if it is in an out of the way place, fine, i don't condone killing everything willy-nilly, but if there is a chance you could be bitten, either re-locate it or kill it. i walked with a cane for 2 wks. after the bite, but the 24 hr. period after it, well, i've never been in so much pain or been so sick. debi
I am sorry Rich, but I am not sure that your spider is a Black Widow. I have looked carefully at all the pictures in Bug Guide (4 pages of them) http://bugguide.net/node/view/1999/bgimage
and none of them have the hairy abdomen so clearly shown in your picture. In fact descriptions of the Black Widow usually emphasise that it has a shiny black abdomen.
It is also certainly not the individual you photographed previously as this shows distinct light bands across the legs, that are missing from the new one.
Unfortunately, despite a lot of searching, I have not been able to find a spider that does match your picture,
I think you may be right Ken my Black Widow shots all show the shiny abdomen. The only thing is I have never been this close before(I have 3 extension tubes on my macro lens) This is a normal Black Widow.The spider I shot is about 1/3 the size of this full grown and I am 2 or 3 times closer. I will get a stomach shot then I'll know. It is raining tonight so it will have to wait-Rich
Hey, I had the same reaction when I saw the original photo.. looks scary except for the hair.. I lived in Richmond a few years ago and found about 12 black widows (hourglasses and all) in a u-pick pumpkin field there.. Being kindof a freak about strange creatures and having seen them for sale as 'pets' once at a herpetological show, I carefully collected some and kept one for a few years. I had a couple of egg cases hatch and I've seen them go through the color stages, they start out small and mottled and brown and slowly darken with age but I've always noticed the deep glossy hairless abdomen.. And then I went looking and found that there are a bunch of different Latrodectus spiders from around the world, and that it looks to me that the Western black widow does have hair.. two of the photos of L. hesperus from the site kennedyh posted seem to show this.. though the photos aren't quite as clear as yours.. maybe you could post on there for an ID to be sure. http://bugguide.net/node/view/7426/bgimagehttp://bugguide.net/node/view/39911/bgimage
One way you might be able to tell is that the web of a black widow is disorganized ( no particular shape to it) and extremely strong, so there is a lot of resistence to your finger when you sweep your finger thru it. Don't worry-they aren't in the web-they are in a dark corner or underneath something-I have never seen them in the web and believe me I have a lot of them in my greenhouses. I have become quite the amateur "expert" on them lol. When we first started seeing them in the greenhouses, we were a bit worried about them, but I called a bug expert at the university to find out about them. He said they are only a problem if you are allergic to bee stings.Then the bite is more of a problem. I was bit once and the bite itched for a few days, but I had nothing of the experience from them as Debi who posted above. It felt like a beesting, and it wasn't even in the greenhouse. Sometimes, for fun, we hunt them down, and we do kill them-I don't need more of them in there or anywhere near the houses. They are very easy to kill-they just sit there-unless you miss and then they move-so you have one good shot at them. Also, their eggs are in a beige/yellowish bag that is usually about a quarter inch wide or so. They are very shiny black-both sexes. Very pretty actually.
Where I used to live there were lots of black widows. Some had the red hourglass and some didn't. It seems I read somewhere that only the females have that? I'll look and see if I can find out for sure.
I don't know. It seems that no matter what species they are, they look different at different stages of maturity. That makes it hard to narrow down a positive ID. Have you heard anything from bugguide?