Just caught a Fat Black Widow

buthus

Arachnoprince
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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
Smooth sac could be from one of your local blackies, but maybe!

:D Yep..take pics and show us your latros! :D
 

Widowman10

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hey buthus, i could hardly find any pics of the rhodes widow. they did look a bit different though (and i know, color variation, not good...). does the rhodes widow have the yellow dots around the abdomen like the geo does? to me, that pic was a pretty solid match for a geo, i even looked up the others like you did. either way, good call on the sacs. that would be a great way to tell.

interesting stuff.
 

Widowman10

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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?
she will eat

yes, from 1 breeding, although they've done some experiments showing that some females have been mated with multiple males (the emboli breaking off in the female is how they knew that).

keep making them until she gets really really old. i say that because they have been known to pop out like, 20 sacs.
 

jsloan

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I cant wait to feed this girl, but she just looks sooo fat that I think if I feed her shell pop!
She'll probably stop eating before that happens. However, it is possible the abdomen can get large enough that a bump to the spider or cage can make it fall off. That happened with a Xysticus sp. (Thomisidae) I had once. I fed it and fed it, and it ate and ate, and its abdomen grew and grew and ballooned out - and one day I set its jar down on the desk (not heavily, just normally) and its abdomen just fell off. And that was the end of that spider! No joke. That actually happened.

This probably won't happen to yours, but I wanted to tell that story anyway. :)

Do make sure she always has water, however.
 

Widowman10

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She'll probably stop eating before that happens. However, it is possible the abdomen can get large enough that a bump to the spider or cage can make it fall off. That happened with a Xysticus sp. (Thomisidae) I had once. I fed it annd fed it, and it ate and ate, and its abdomen grew and grew and ballooned out - and one day I set its jar down on the desk (not heavily, just normally) and its abdomen just fell off. And that was the end of that spider!

This probably won't happen to yours, but I wanted to tell that story anyway. :)
haha, i was wondering if something like that has ever happened {D

not funny for the spider, but you know... :D

some of the widows i've seen are HUGE. i know this is probably one of the rarest things to happen also. i wouldn't worry :cool:
 

Pacmaster

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That is an amazinf story, and if I had to guess- Id say mine is about as close to that as possible right now.
Imma wait to see if it shrinks down some, then feed her.

I aint seriously worried about this, but she IS really fat . . . :D

Widowman, again- Thankyou for all your great advice, Ive learned alot since posting . . .
 

Widowman10

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on the subject of glasses and patterns and whatever, here is a somewhat decent (and rough) idea of what i was saying. although, there is a lot of variation, and i would draw them a little differently, but it's a fairly good depiction. gives some range info that is decent as well (but not complete by any means).
 

Pacmaster

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Well!
Guess what?!?!?



So now,of course, Ill have a few more questions . . .
I did read alot about the sacs, and I found out alot about hatching them, but I want to know a little about the sacs themselves.

Are the eggs already in there- does it spin around the eggs or put eggs into complete sac?

How long does it take to make that sac- it wasnt there at like 1 or 2 am last night, and I didnt specifically check her this morning, just found it at 830 tonite.

I can see that her abdomen is remarkably smaller, I assume that was eggs, or was it the amount of silk needed to spin the sac?

Would tonite be a good time to try to feed her?
 
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Pacmaster

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on the subject of glasses and patterns and whatever, here is a somewhat decent (and rough) idea of what i was saying. although, there is a lot of variation, and i would draw them a little differently, but it's a fairly good depiction. gives some range info that is decent as well (but not complete by any means).

Great link!
She is most definately hesperus.
 

Widowman10

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1- it spins the silk around the eggs, it doesn't 'deposit' them inside the sac or anything
2- it takes just a few hours to make a sac, pretty quick process
3- mostly eggs
4- sure! whenever, really
 

buthus

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hey buthus, i could hardly find any pics of the rhodes widow. they did look a bit different though (and i know, color variation, not good...). does the rhodes widow have the yellow dots around the abdomen like the geo does? to me, that pic was a pretty solid match for a geo, i even looked up the others like you did. either way, good call on the sacs. that would be a great way to tell.

interesting stuff.
The page on S.African "button spiders" has a pic ...otherwise all I have on the specie is some literature and a bud down that way that has asked a few questions and looked around for them. They are there in patches...usually amongst geos.
As for visual ID.. from what i understand (from the pitiful amount of info i have), there is little to nil difference except for the sacs. The main difference is sexual which is usually the first thing to cause a split ...indicating a separate specie. I guess someone finally realized... hey! smooth sacs...thats weird and stuck one under a microscope to take a gander at its naughty bits. ...bingo! new specie.




edit:
it spins the silk around the eggs, it doesn't 'deposit' them inside the sac or anything
Sorta do though... but upside down ...they "stick" the eggs up into the top dome shaped chunk of sac that they construct first ...then they wrap/cover the heck out of the eggs. Ive had a few just spew out eggs into their web or insufficient sac starts ...usually it seems this can happen to old girls about to kick the bucket or during extremely fast temperature increases.
As for sac numbers ...hesperus tend to produce 5 to 10 viable sacs during their lifetime and often a few towards the end of their life that are infertile or just go bad for whatever reasons old age can bring. Over 15 sacs is probably rare...esp if all turn out fertile. Ive had at least a few longish living hesperus that, for whatever reason only produced a couple/few sacs right after mating then one or two duds before death.
Recently I had a big healthy girl produce a single sac with very few eggs of which only a couple made it to slings ...she mated, a week later produced her sac and then died a couple weeks after that ...go figure.
 
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Spider-Spazz

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Found this girl today under a piece of wood.
Shes got the fattest abdomen I ever seen.
When I found her, it looked as though she had just molted either yesterday or last night.
There were also 3 BIG, empty egg sacs around her.
She is very weak, from the suspected molting, but has enough energy to not sit still for a decent pic.
Im gonna go set her up in a cube, and let her settle in.
I should be able to get some decent pics in a day or 2.



Would it be a bad idea to keep this spider on the same shelf in close proximity to my prized avics?

Oooooh.
I had 4 Bw before.
They were gorgeous.
 

ZergFront

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Really Cool

I used to have a black widow when I was 9 for about a month. Then, because of my normal kid A.D.D, I got bored of it and let it go back to the garage.

Right now, I'm sticking to one species of jumping spider and both have egg sacs. For ventilation and sling escape-proofing I used pantyhose I cut off a few inches above the "ankle" and put it over the jar. For water, they have a kitchen sponge cut into a small cube that's moistened daily (fresh sponge - spiders are sensitive to even a little soap). I also have a sponge with a honey/water mixture because I read some jumpers do take sips of nectar from flowers to supplement their diet, but mine never used them. I guess that's my two cents.

I don't think it's good for spiders so I don't do this anymore, but when I was 15 I used to rub a little perfume over the rim of the jars if I wanted to observe them without the lid on. I found that spiders really hate strong smells. Every spider that came to the edge came to an abrupt halt and went back down. Like I said though, won't be doing that anymore because I don't know if it has ill effects.
 

Endagr8

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I used to have a black widow when I was 9 for about a month. Then, because of my normal kid A.D.D, I got bored of it and let it go back to the garage.

Right now, I'm sticking to one species of jumping spider and both have egg sacs. For ventilation and sling escape-proofing I used pantyhose I cut off a few inches above the "ankle" and put it over the jar. For water, they have a kitchen sponge cut into a small cube that's moistened daily (fresh sponge - spiders are sensitive to even a little soap). I also have a sponge with a honey/water mixture because I read some jumpers do take sips of nectar from flowers to supplement their diet, but mine never used them. I guess that's my two cents.

I don't think it's good for spiders so I don't do this anymore, but when I was 15 I used to rub a little perfume over the rim of the jars if I wanted to observe them without the lid on. I found that spiders really hate strong smells. Every spider that came to the edge came to an abrupt halt and went back down. Like I said though, won't be doing that anymore because I don't know if it has ill effects.
Lose the sponges. :embarrassed: Water dishes filled with water (no sponge/cotton/etc.) are MUCH better. ;)
 

ZergFront

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huh?

Won't they drown? My wolf spider drowned in a filled little jelly jar lid.
X-D
 

Endagr8

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Won't they drown? My wolf spider drowned in a filled little jelly jar lid.
X-D
Nope; if drowning is an issue, place a rock or two in the dish so the spider can crawl out. In addition to being breeding grounds for bacteria, it's debatable whether spiders can obtain moisture from sponges/cotton/etc. With most true spiders you're probably better off misting the sides of the containers every few days.
 

ZergFront

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Oh

Oh OK. I thought that with regular hot water soakings sponges would be good.

I like this board. ^_^
 

Canth

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For jumping spiders or widows, I don't think a water dish is neccessary. A light mist every few days would be fine.
 
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