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Just caught a Fat Black Widow

Discussion in 'Other Spiders & Arachnids' started by Pacmaster, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. Widowman10

    Widowman10 Arachno WIDOW Old Timer

    use what you want, but i use something similar to this:
  2. buthus

    buthus Arachnoprince Old Timer

    That jar set-up would be perfect if you turned it over. Widows prefer solid structure overhead. One way to do it is to pour in a layer of plaster or cement/mortar dirt mix ..to make a hardened stable surface. Note: mortar/cement while drying can be slightly poisonous...so make sure its set in the sun for a few days after it has hardened. (or dry it out by baking at a low temp in the oven).
    Having the jar lid at the bottom is also nice because it allows one to open the jar without messing up her "inner sanctum" tighter webbing.
  3. Widowman10

    Widowman10 Arachno WIDOW Old Timer

    good call. i actually keep mine in a large biscotti jar. it would be good to provide some sort of structure above, maybe something solid like you were saying (for a retreat). i have tried (and do not like) the flipped jar. not as applicable and doesn't look as good IMHO. but, there is still a need for a retreat, hence the solid overhead structure.

    good call buthus.
  4. I have a large zip-tie container that I think Ill use.
    Its basically a large straight plastic jar with a screw-on cap.
    The only thing I dont like is that its round, all my other cages are cubes and I like my stuff uniform.
    Guess Ill just have to sacrafice . . .

    ill post pics later this eve, I gotta do my waterpump on my vehicle now.
  5. kalvaer

    kalvaer Arachnosquire

    I was sitting outside my office the other day, and suddenly saw a male widow "sneaking" up to a female behind a pot plant. I rushed back into the office to grab a camera, and by the time I got back, the male had been killed and wraped up in a neat little ball.

    The natural web was pretty small though (South African species). Though I must admit I am to scared still at this point to try keep on at home. Then again, I have enough of them running around free to worry about housing.
  6. buthus

    buthus Arachnoprince Old Timer

    Would be very interested in knowing what part of SAfrica you're at. ..and if your into the species... would LOVE to see some pics of your local widows.
  7. kalvaer

    kalvaer Arachnosquire

    Well I have 3 different looking widows, that I know of at work. 2 are certainly brown versions (could be the same species), and then 1 that is black (Less comman and I have to search for them). I stay in the south of Johannesburg of Southern Africa BTW

    Here are the only two decent photo's I got while rushing to try grab the camera.


  8. Raikiri

    Raikiri Arachnosquire

  9. jsloan

    jsloan Arachnoangel Old Timer

    Are those adults? If so, they might be L. geometricus.
  10. So heres my new enclosure for my fat widow.
    I ended up going with a clear cube, it would just bother me too much to have a round container on that shelf . . .
    Its got a piece of cork, and some twigs, which it is already utilizing as she started to spin a web.
    Her abdomen is sooooo fat, she must be about to make an eggsac any day . . .
    It has the full hour-glass, so what species is it?(from Ca)
  11. Ritzman

    Ritzman Arachnobaron

    I believe L. mactans.
  12. I remember in the last few days, reading an old thread that told the differences of species in reference to the shape of the red, and where they are found.
    But I cant find the thread again, but if I remember correctly, the ones with the full hour-glass are supposed to be east-coast or is it viceversa . . . :?
    Anyways, shes a big fatty and she seems to like the cube as she is setting up shop.
  13. Ritzman

    Ritzman Arachnobaron

    I know the ones we have around here (variolus) have red markings and the markings vary from spider to spider(maybe different locales). The widows I have seen with hourglass markings were mactans. Your widow could be hesperus though.
  14. Found it . . .

  15. Widowman10

    Widowman10 Arachno WIDOW Old Timer

    ok, enough. that first spider is L. geometricus. not enough close to mactans/variolus/hesperus... although i don't believe anybody said it was a typical black. anyway...

    enclosure looks pretty good too. they will thrive anywhere.

    pacmaster, again, if you are in CA, your spider is probably nothing other than hesperus, again, most likely (95%) not mactans/variolus/anything else.

    generally speaking: west of the mississippi, hesperus. south, mactans. north (and somewhat south) variolus. red, bishopi. brown (orange hrglass, yellow dots around spinnerets), geometricus.

    generally speaking (part 2): hesperus: typical, good-looking hrglass, equal triangles. mactans, anvil-shaped, 2 parts of glass look different. variolus, separated glass, easily distinguished from hesperus. geometricus: orange, bottom half slightly larger than top half, pretty symmetrical. red: lacking bottom half of glass in most.

    *again, generally speaking, and in most cases this rings true. there is variation though*

    have fun...
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2009
  16. LOL, thanks for clearing that up, I figured I didnt find such a rare thing at my work of all places!
    She seems to be liking that cube, her webbing is taking some shape as we speak.
    They really are beautiful with the jet-black coloring and red hourglass!
    Just the way their legs move and how they crawl back up a dangled thread, is the definition of spider.
    I never really appreciated them(or spiders in general) until I started buying tarantulas . . .
    Now its like every big spider I see, I want to take home and put it in a cube.

    I cant wait to feed this girl, but she just looks sooo fat that I think if I feed her shell pop!
    Is this a clue that a sac is soon to come?
  17. Widowman10

    Widowman10 Arachno WIDOW Old Timer

    they are beautiful. :cool:

    and be careful with grabbing spiders willy-nilly and putting them in cubes ;) best to know exactly how to care for something (research it fully) before trying to care for it.

    she won't pop. if she's full size (and mated, which if wild-caught, she is 99% most likely gravid), she probably won't molt, so she prob has some babies (eggs) in her.
  18. No worries, shes the only vagrant Ill keep around ;)
    My buddy has some garden-type spider whos meal ticket is about to run out . . .
    I aint trying to feed the whole neighborhood . . .
    The only reason I took her home is cause they are EVERYWHERE over here, so I figure it shouldnt be too hard to keep alive!

    So you have said that she wont molt, but I take it she will eat?
    And when you said before they have multiple sacs, thats from 1 breeding, right?
    Will she stop having sacs, or keep making them till she dies?

    Its no wonder they call you Widowman!
  19. buthus

    buthus Arachnoprince Old Timer

    You could run into 4 or 5 species ...more likely 4 that are native. From what I understand Mactans (US native) has also been found there.
    Your geometricus you showed here is most likely that...but it MAY be something more interesting. L. rhodesiensis is the ONLY other brown clad specie besides geometricus. How I understand it, is there was one significant split ...you have your tred/mactans species ("black" clads ...includes L. pallidus and L.bishopi ...so take the word "black" or leave it ;) ) and then you have geos (brown clads). Not to long ago someone figured out that many of the geos in southern Africa are actually something fairly brand new. ..
    actually considered the newest latro to develop. ...L. rhodesiensis. Which imo is pretty cool. I dont think there is any way to tell them apart visually except if sacs are available. L. rhodesiensis sacs are big and smooth! ...and geo sacs have crazy spikes all over them.

    so! go find more and look for ones with big, smooth sacs ...take pics...oh, and dont forget to step back and get shots of the webbing, structure and immediate environment. Look for geos close by ...they should be right there next to them ...show us how close the two species hang. :D ;)
  20. kalvaer

    kalvaer Arachnosquire

    If I remember correctly, the sacs close by these had the spikes, but I have seen the smooth sacs around. I need to get a new camara and a 105mm macro lens to get some nice shots of them, But i'll see what can be found
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