Northern Black Widow (Latrodectus variolus)

Order: Araneae (ah-RAY-nee-ee) (Info)
Family: Theridiidae
Genus: Latrodectus (lat-roh-DEK-tus) (Info)
Species: variolus (var-ee-OH-lus) (Info)


This bug has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Laguna Hills, California
Meriden, Connecticut
Cape Coral, Florida
Dahlonega, Georgia
Halifax, Massachusetts
Pinnacle, North Carolina
Glouster, Ohio
Blythewood, South Carolina
Blacksburg, Virginia
Bluefield, Virginia
Leesburg, Virginia
Twisp, Washington
Show all

Members' Notes:


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 Jun 8, 2012, erniebullins from PINNACLE, NC wrote:

I found 2 and they are similar but the hour glass seems distorted.I am a little confused on that.


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