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Latrodectus California

Discussion in 'Field Trips (Natural Habitats)' started by malpolon, Jan 19, 2018.

  1. malpolon

    malpolon Arachnopeon

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    Hello everyone,
    This summer I want to visit California, doing a roadtrip from San Francisco to San Diego.
    Apart that I want to herp a little bit, I want to photograph Latrodectus and if its possible Loxoceles. Can someone recomend me a good place in California where I can find Latrodectus?

    Best regards,

    Fran
     
  2. chanda

    chanda Arachnoprince Active Member

    Latrodectus hesperus can be found pretty much anywhere in California - just look in sheds, garages, sprinkler valve covers, or other protected spots, or go out at night with a flashlight and look... well, pretty much anywhere. I live in SoCal and can easily find a couple dozen around my house at night, around the base of the house, in the hose reel, in the garage, in the fence, underneath the barbecue, etc. During the daytime they are usually tucked away out of sight in some small hole or crevice, but at night they are out in the open. I can also find them along any of the local hiking trails at night.

    While I don't find them at my house, Latrodectus geometricus is also pretty common. They are displacing L. hesperus in many areas. They're all over the place at my kids' school, hiding in the fences and handrails. They're usually tucked away in the little corners where the upright pieces meet the top rails. I also find them all over the place in San Diego at my in-laws house - mostly out in the garden, tucked under the handles of garbage cans, under benches or tables, under the rim of flower pots and planters, etc.

    Loxosceles, on the other hand, will be a bit harder to find. We do a few native species - L. deserta, L. russelli, L. palma, and L. martha - plus the introduced L. laeta, but I've never actually seen one. From what I've read, L. russelli, L. palma, and L. martha are incredibly rare, L. laeta is uncommon but has been found in selected areas in Los Angeles county. L. deserta is the most common Loxosceles species in California, but is mainly found in the Sonora and Mojave deserts.
     
  3. Smokehound714

    Smokehound714 Arachnoking Active Member

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    you will not find hesperus in urban regions in socal outside of deserts, L geometricus has extirpated it from all urban regions in coastal socal.

    the only reason hesperus isnt completely eradicated from socal entirely is because geometricus cannot survive away from humans
     
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  4. myrmecophile

    myrmecophile Arachnobaron Old Timer

    I wouldn't go so far as to say gone completely from the coastal urban areas, but L. herperus has become pretty darn rare all the same.