Help identifying black spider with really long legs!

Durham, NC

I'm having difficulty identifying this guy (or gal). My 8 year old found it in our playhouse outside on a web and then freaked out because of its long legs and bright colors (red and yellow). From what I've seen in NC photos, it doesn't look exactly like anything...sort of like the immature male black widow but I'm hoping it's just a garden spider :) Thanks in advance!

Oh, the underside is completely black with two red spots - but they are at the very top and bottom of its body, in no way close to being connected... It's a very skinny spider too.

Thumbnail by UNCMomof2
Benton, KY(Zone 7a)

I've never seen one in real-life (only the Southern ones) but it looks like a Northern Black Widow:

The juvenile ones have the side markings.
someone else jump in if you have any suggestions.

Durham, NC

Really? I didn't even think of a NORTHERN Black widow here in NC. It threw me off because it didn't have the large bulbous body that I'm used to seeing, or an hourglass. And the red dots were more like lines and had no yellow around them. But you're right, the anatomy of the spider with the legs, etc is very similar.

I'll see if anyone else has a concurring or dissenting opinion! I think the playhouse is going to be off-limits until we make sure there aren't any others... I like most spiders as long as I can identify them as harmless

Benton, KY(Zone 7a)

I think Northern Black Widow...

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