Just found a Black Widow in Riverside, CA

Nomadinexile

Arachnoking
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I've read on here that there are no black widows in CA. What gives?? It's all black with the red hourglass. Do I have a similar looking species from lactodectrus? Or is it a population imported through trade/ect from out east?

Thanks!

P.S. I tried getting a picture, but I couldn't, will keep trying....

Also found a couple of pretty jumpers. All black with red abdomen, but I think I can find id on that.
 

xhexdx

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Genus is spelled Latrodectus...

Also, where did you read that there aren't any widows in California?

I caught several when I lived there (from birth till 7 years old).
 

The Snark

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Poor Hesperus. Just when they were thinking they existed.
On a serious note, I was in on a field study that ranged from the Anza Borrego desert to Pasadena in the early 1970's, when the hesperus was called the mactans. In one week, over 10,000 specimens were collected.

---------- Post added at 09:27 AM ---------- Previous post was at 07:52 AM ----------

Since you are in Riverside, take the opportunity to go out into the Mojave desert and go Latro hunting. There are stretches of that desert where every hole, nook, cranny and crevice has a Latro.

Remembering some of that Latro study.
-The latrodectus of the southwestern desert can commonly survive at least 2 months without any food. They can achieve almost perfect hibernative stasis.
-20 females were placed in a large terrarium. A piece of rotten fruit was put in once a week. In 1 year there were over 1000 adult specimens. The males introduced themselves through the mesh cover.
-The desert Hesperus appears to mate year round irrespective of the seasons.
-The adults and older juveniles can range over 50 feet in one night in search of a habitat to build a web.
-There are many areas of the Mojave desert where there are no natural predators for the Latro.
-The Latro is almost as cosmopolitan as the cockroach in certain locales. In the northern territory of Australia, the red back version demonstrates identical traits and habits of the desert Hesperus, 9,000 miles and tens of thousands of years removed.

For more info on the Latro, northwestern variety, Rod Crawford is a wonderful source of information.

PS For further info on how cosmopolitan the Latro can be, check out the L. Geometricus (Brown Widow)
 
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ZergFront

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Huh? I found one way back when I was kid and kept it for a week. Found it in an old boat shed. :?

I haven't found any though in several years. I mostly find the false or brown widows and many others that look like a widow.
 

Frankenspider

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I remember when I was living in San Diego there was a brick wall running along our road. It was long, and about every foot or so was a black widow. We even found one nestled in our house.
 

Nomadinexile

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Sweet! Thanks for the replies and info everyone!

Please forgive my spelling error xhexdx! I've got a lot I'm dealing with and thinking about, and I'm still recovering from not sleeping for 56 hours on the greyhound! :wall:

I also apparently got confused about the Black Widow range, confusing it with the Brown Recluse, which does not live in CA, right?

Well regardless, I'm sure now I have a stinkin' big Black Widow. It's the biggest one I've seen anyway, though obviously I'm not an expert! :D

@Zerg, That's interesting. I'm actually over at a friends house right now, and he just handed me a look alike or different specie. I'm curious to see what it is, because he apparently has a colony in his garage. :drool:

@Snark, Thanks for all the info! Very interesting stuff. I will definately be in the Mojave soon, there are scorpions I want to see there already, but I will definately be looking for widows now! As a side note, the one I found was under a log in disturbed habitat.

@Fraken, that's awesome. I love knowing there are venomous creatures all around us. One every foot?? Awesome.


As for the Jumpers, they are P. johnsoni. They are a male/female pair. (known becuase of stripe on abdomen of one) They were also found under a log in tube web together. Same disturbed habitat.

Thanks everyone!!! ~R
 

Najakeeper

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I have caught them in Idaho/Washington border and winters are cold there. I bet they are all comfy down in Cali.
 

gromgrom

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Poor Hesperus. Just when they were thinking they existed.
On a serious note, I was in on a field study that ranged from the Anza Borrego desert to Pasadena in the early 1970's, when the hesperus was called the mactans. In one week, over 10,000 specimens were collected.

---------- Post added at 09:27 AM ---------- Previous post was at 07:52 AM ----------

Since you are in Riverside, take the opportunity to go out into the Mojave desert and go Latro hunting. There are stretches of that desert where every hole, nook, cranny and crevice has a Latro.

Remembering some of that Latro study.
-The latrodectus of the southwestern desert can commonly survive at least 2 months without any food. They can achieve almost perfect hibernative stasis.
-20 females were placed in a large terrarium. A piece of rotten fruit was put in once a week. In 1 year there were over 1000 adult specimens. The males introduced themselves through the mesh cover.
-The desert Hesperus appears to mate year round irrespective of the seasons.
-The adults and older juveniles can range over 50 feet in one night in search of a habitat to build a web.
-There are many areas of the Mojave desert where there are no natural predators for the Latro.
-The Latro is almost as cosmopolitan as the cockroach in certain locales. In the northern territory of Australia, the red back version demonstrates identical traits and habits of the desert Hesperus, 9,000 miles and tens of thousands of years removed.

For more info on the Latro, northwestern variety, Rod Crawford is a wonderful source of information.

PS For further info on how cosmopolitan the Latro can be, check out the L. Geometricus (Brown Widow)
...kinda scary. Reminds me of the study of an adult Deathstalker scorpion. She wasnt fed anything for a year, ate her babies, and was still alive, with no food or water, for a year. amazing.
 

What

Arachnoprince
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You can also find Latrodectus geometricus in Southern California...but not in Riverside that I know of, just about anywhere else from there inland though.

Look like immature hesps but with more orange, just a heads up. :)

The other "lookalike" would be Steatoda grossa.
 

hastur

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I'm a sixth generation Californian....
California is crawling with black widows.

Black widows in my garage,my yard,a lot of the meter boxes I have to open and read each month have a widow in them.The occasional widow in my house.
As for the brown recluse,yes,they live here as well.
Not as many recluses.
There are only 2 spiders I don't care for,black widows and brown recluses but as long as they stay out of my house and meter boxes I have to stuff my hands in they get left alone.
 

The Snark

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I'm a sixth generation Californian....
California is crawling with black widows.

Black widows in my garage,my yard,a lot of the meter boxes I have to open and read each month have a widow in them.The occasional widow in my house.
As for the brown recluse,yes,they live here as well.
Not as many recluses.
There are only 2 spiders I don't care for,black widows and brown recluses but as long as they stay out of my house and meter boxes I have to stuff my hands in they get left alone.
Yup. One of the times I've been tagged by a widow it was in the water meter box. Once I was cleaning out a public bathroom. 6 toilets, around 50 widows. What concerned me was one had made a web over the bowl and was hiding under the seat.
 

What

Arachnoprince
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As for the brown recluse,yes,they live here as well.
Not as many recluses.
No. The brown recluse spider is not established or present in California except for (and its unlikely) in scattered residences that have been moved from within their range.

We do have a couple native species of recluse spiders and there are/were established populations of Loxosceles laeta in Southern California. That is it for recluses in CA though. :cool:
 

The Snark

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No. The brown recluse spider is not established or present in California except for (and its unlikely) in scattered residences that have been moved from within their range.

We do have a couple native species of recluse spiders and there are/were established populations of Loxosceles laeta in Southern California. That is it for recluses in CA though. :cool:
I was wondering about this. A few years back there was an outbreak of them and a major eradication effort was undertaken. As I understood it, the recluse is non native to Cal., highly undesirable, very slow in it's invasive efforts and can be eradicated outside it's native environment. Sort of the opposite to the black widow,
 

hastur

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Here in the foothills on the east side of the central valley we have brown recluse spiders or an amazing mimic.I would prefer it if it's a mimic but the first one I saw was shown to me by a retired public health nurse with a love of spiders and insects.She caught it in her house a few miles from mine.
It sure matched the pictures I'd seen,and she knew more about spiders than I ever will and she was convinced.
 

What

Arachnoprince
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I would prefer it if it's a mimic but the first one I saw was shown to me by a retired public health nurse with a love of spiders and insects.
http://spiders.ucr.edu/recluseid.html

That page might help? If not, I would be interested to see a photo of them, just on the off chance they are recluses. :)
As I understood it, the recluse is non native to Cal., highly undesirable, very slow in it's invasive efforts and can be eradicated outside it's native environment.
That is how it was explained to me.
 

RoseT

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Um....they are very active in CA. Im Los Angeles, and I see them all the time...
 

dtknow

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lololol I'd like to know where you read widows don't live in CA. Up in Central Valley I could kill 10 or so in one night armed w a flashlight and a rubberband gun in our tidy surburban yard. In Socal, they are absolutely thick. I bet you are never more than 10 feet away from 1 down here.

Btw-its hard to believe nothing eat black widows. Their has to be something. I've fed them to scorpions which loved them but the opposite is much more likely to occur in the wild. I'm sure desert dwelling mice might enjoy them(at moderate risk)? Some reptile?
 

The Snark

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lololol I'd like to know where you read widows don't live in CA. Up in Central Valley I could kill 10 or so in one night armed w a flashlight and a rubberband gun in our tidy surburban yard. In Socal, they are absolutely thick. I bet you are never more than 10 feet away from 1 down here.

Btw-its hard to believe nothing eat black widows. Their has to be something. I've fed them to scorpions which loved them but the opposite is much more likely to occur in the wild. I'm sure desert dwelling mice might enjoy them(at moderate risk)? Some reptile?
I tried my best to be as accurate as possible. There are some locations out in the Mojave Desert which has areas as hostile as any land mass in the world, where there is no natural predator for the Latro. This was documented in coordination with the investigation of the decline of it's primary natural enemy in those areas, the roadrunner. The area in question lies in a triangle between Funeral Mountains in the north, Trona to the southwest and Tecopa to the southeast, encompassing much of Death Valley. The latro, being the cosmopolitan hitchiker it is, has periodically turned up in Death Valley proper as well, though this is not considered it's natural environment.
 

SarahAntula

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I Lived in the Mojave desert for 28 Years
Yes they are all over the place there. Outside, Inside, Garage, cupboards, plumbing, pantry's, etc, etc.
They do not drown in water.:?
As far back as I can remember when I was 5 or 6 I used to catch them and try to feed them all sorts of items. Pill bugs, flys, other spiders, I decorated their "terrariums" with leaves, quarters, and dandelions. I was always excited to see when it produced a sac. That was when mom and dad took it away from me.:({D
I know of one large widow in Tehachappi who had a nice little home in a juice bottle and was fed flys regularly. I guess she lived for a for a little over 1 year.
We even had some hitch-hike to NY in our moving boxes.
Not sure if they are native to upstate NY. But they have a nice little home in our storage sheds.
Interesting how they survive the winter.:?
 
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