Black Widow Question?

bioshock

Arachnoknight
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Jun 14, 2009
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164
i only thought the females had the red hour glass on their abdomens maybe i was wrong?? I aslo think that black widows arent deadly unless your allergic to venom. The most it might do to a healthy human is make them very ill or sick...
 

Jaymz Bedell

Arachnoknight
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Dec 19, 2009
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186
i only thought the females had the red hour glass on their abdomens maybe i was wrong?? I aslo think that black widows arent deadly unless your allergic to venom. The most it might do to a healthy human is make them very ill or sick...
We've covered this already, males do indeed have the hourglass, and as with females it can be variable. there is quite a bit of evidence in this thread alone, forget about the link to pictures I posted which show even more photographic evidence.

the effects of widow venom are also well documented, on this site as well as the internet in general. so are the potential side effects of widow antivenin. these are not mysteries, at all. we KNOW that in healthy adult humans the venom of widows is not likely to be fatal, but produces some pretty nasty symptoms. we also know that the potential side effects of widow antivenin can be pretty severe.

allergies to venom don't automatically cross species/families. I'm allergic to wasp/hornet venom, bee venom produces nothing more than a minor localized effect. I have zero allergic reaction to spider venom, and zero allergic reaction to snake venom. but a single sting from a wasp or hornet can land me in the hospital. I use myself as an example because I really can't speak for anyone else.
 

Fyreflye

Arachnoknight
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Mar 15, 2009
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271
Widowman- aaawww, that little spider is cuddling with you!

I, too, always heard that males lack the hourglass. And that widows are deadly. I'd still rather not get bit by one, and i discourage them around my house, as i have two very small dogs.

But they sure are attractive spiders. :D
 

Moltar

ArachnoGod
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Apr 11, 2007
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i don't know. maybe it's just genetic variability because of range. i'm not sure. maybe it has to do with habitat too, who knows. maybe more genetics as most of the specimens from certain areas look like each other. just a guess.
See, here we go trying to apply logic to nature, who is inherently illogical. I didn't realize the "Northerns" (I can't keep straight which species is where...) extended much farther south, thought I was near the edge of their range. I love learning!

I wonder if diet plays a role too. Maybe they're eating some beetles with certain compounds in them that enhance color or something.
 

Widowman10

Arachno WIDOW
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Jan 25, 2007
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See, here we go trying to apply logic to nature, who is inherently illogical. I didn't realize the "Northerns" (I can't keep straight which species is where...) extended much farther south, thought I was near the edge of their range. I love learning!

I wonder if diet plays a role too. Maybe they're eating some beetles with certain compounds in them that enhance color or something.
some of the best looking variolus are found in FL.

quick (and rough) range map of the species...
 

Widdle

Arachnopeon
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Jul 2, 2010
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15
That's what scares me the most about spiders... not knowing which ones were potentially harmful, and which ones were harmless. Then I learned there were tens of thousands of species and, unfortunately I'm still scared, but that's 'cause I'm widdle... A more knowledgeable, scared widdle. :eek: Maybe cautious is a better word than scared...

Cool lookin' spider, btw.
 

SpiderShadowz

Arachnopeon
Joined
Sep 25, 2010
Messages
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Earlier this summer I had a whole lot of black and brown widows outside of my house. I always thought they were territorial but they all appeared to be living quite happily together.

how do you tell the difference between males and females?
 

Lorum

Arachnosquire
Joined
Jun 10, 2010
Messages
111
I think the hourglass markings are pretty variable from one individual to another in most Latrodectus species. I've seen males here in Maryland that had 2 red dots underneath and sort of a line on the backside of the abdomen. I've seen females with no glass but a big red splotch on the back. I've seen pics of completely black ones.
Just to add: I have seen specimens of Latrodectus mactans from the same locality and population (I mean, one or two meters from one another) that present variations in the "hourglass" and even in dorsal markings (some of them -2 females- didn't have hourglass at all, but a little red ventral spot). So yes, I also think markings are variable from one individual to another, even in the same locality.
 

KUJordan

Arachnobaron
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Nov 22, 2005
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344
not sure where all the confusion is coming from. Yes each widow is different even among species. That's ok though...mactans have their characteristic hourglass as do hesperus, variolus, etc... They may each be different on two individuals of the same species but all members of a species still will fall in the characteristics of that species. Males too have hourglasses and male variolus can be larger in legspan that their female counterparts.

here are a couple pure kansas mactans: these are not variolus and have the stereotype mactans hourglasses with the heavy anvil-like distal part:



male:
 

more_rayne

Arachnopeon
Joined
May 21, 2010
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I've never seen a male that's black with a red hourglass. Maybe we have a different species here in southern CA. The males here are small, brown with a light colored hourglass. The females are large black, with red hourglass and some even have cool white markings on the other side of the abdomen.
 

Widowman10

Arachno WIDOW
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Jan 25, 2007
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I've never seen a male that's black with a red hourglass. Maybe we have a different species here in southern CA. The males here are small, brown with a light colored hourglass. The females are large black, with red hourglass and some even have cool white markings on the other side of the abdomen.
most hesperus males are not black. most. but they will still have some dorsal markings. most variolus and mactans males are black. they too have dorsal markings. all black males? probably not though. but they are black for sure.
 
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