On Jun 23, 2014, maccionoadha from Halifax, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:
To see the hourglass you need to look at her underneath. The hourglass is always on the underside/belly. The markings above/back are remainders from when they were spiderlings. Those markings fade as the spider ages. Though some do retain their back/above markings, when mature.
Also, male 'Widows' have broken markings and stripes on their backs. The males are not poisonous, but it can be difficult to tell a male from an adolescent female. So, best not to bother any type of Widow.
On Jul 14, 2010, digger9083 from Dahlonega, GA wrote:
I saw the egg sack and thought it looked like a black widow egg sack. The 'nest was different than any I'd ever seen . It was a mass of leaves and web , with the egg outside the mass . The spider was two inches from the egg sack and didn't offer to defend it , grab it and run , or anything . I started poking her and she tried to get away. Sorry , I don't need widows around my potted plants , with grandchildren .I can't get my camera to load on computer , but when the problem is fixed , will submit picture.I was surprised to find out from Bug Files that the red spots were down it's back and indeed it was a black widow. I've been here 20 years and I'm only familiar with the hour glass, never seeing this one until today