Lactrodectus mactrans trapping - help! Black Widow

DrJ

Arachnobaron
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Jan 11, 2008
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Widowman10, I especially expect your assistance. :) Please?

Alright, when I got home this evening there was a black widow hanging out in my garage. Well, after gathering up some equipment, it has since "disappeared". So, I went out on the back porch. Another one! This time, as I went for it, it slid under a brick and I can't seem to lure it out. I want to catch both of these girls, but I an getting impatient with the waiting game. Any tips?

Also, how small should I keep the air-holes? I don't want escapees. ;)

I hardly ever see any Lactridectus around here. So, this is a rare thing for me. It's been awhile, so I need a refresher on keeping these guys.

Thanks for any input, guys!
 

Canth

Arachnolord
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Dec 16, 2005
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655
If you have any big metal, maybe even plastic, forceps you can use those. Tap the forceps against your palm so they're vibrating, then touch it to the widow web. They'll come shooting out, unless they've been previously disturbed.

Edit: Or anything that will reverberate similarly.

Edit 2: Forgot to add, once the widow is a good distance away from her shelter, use a stick to knock down the web
 
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Widowman10

Arachno WIDOW
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Jan 25, 2007
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are you trying at nighttime? if not, go out after dark, both gals should be waiting out on their webs, making it much easier to get them. once they are out on their webs, knock it down behind them so they can't retreat back into it.

and the vibration thing is an excellent idea (i actually did an experiment on that concept for my bachelor's, tested responses by different females to different frequencies!). BUT, it most definitely will not work if you have scared the spider back into its retreat. by that point, hope is lost until she wanders back out on her own.

when i go hunting, i'm usually armed with a good stick, and a cup :D the stick is multi-purpose and a great tool.

holes in the container don't need to be too small. actually, i've kept some latros without a lid or other containment. once they're set up, they are reluctant to leave! :cool:



hope that answers your questions. anything else let me know!
 

DrJ

Arachnobaron
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Jan 11, 2008
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I just caught the one in the garage! The one on the porch is getting wise to my advances. I'll just wait until morning. Hopefully, it will still be there.

The first one is currently in a deli cup with no holes. It should be fine overnight. I'll transfer it tomorrow.

Thanks guys! I'll have to try the vibrating tongs tomorrow. It didn't work on the porch girl.
 

Canth

Arachnolord
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Dec 16, 2005
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655
and the vibration thing is an excellent idea (i actually did an experiment on that concept for my bachelor's, tested responses by different females to different frequencies!). BUT, it most definitely will not work if you have scared the spider back into its retreat. by that point, hope is lost until she wanders back out on her own.
This hasn't been the case for me :) Maybe I've been lucky? I can always get em to come back out if I haven't scared them too much. Usually if I have already touched their web a little enough to scare them in, I can do the forcep trick to get them back out a few times. It's also fun on a lot of Agelenopsis sp.
 

jsloan

Arachnoangel
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Jun 22, 2004
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and the vibration thing is an excellent idea (i actually did an experiment on that concept for my bachelor's, tested responses by different females to different frequencies!).
Interesting! I carry a tuning fork with me when I'm in the field and use it to lure individual Pityohyphantes costatus out into their webs. I've noticed an interesting thing (can't remember whether I've mentioned it in here before or not, so here goes): some individuals respond to it and some don't. Those that do respond usually do so almost every time I touch the web with the fork (I try it on each web as I pass them on my daily trek); those that do not respond tend never to respond, no matter what day it is. Did you notice any of this sort of individuality among the widows?

I only use one frequency (I think the fork is tuned to A = 440).
 

Widowman10

Arachno WIDOW
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jsloan- yes there was variation! not all widows responded to it. maybe the sated ones ignored it?? who knows.

typically though, once you scare them good enough, they don't come out to teasing.

edit: re-reading your post, i also remembered that the same spiders that did not respond to the tuning fork (or vibrations) did not responds to different frequencies either (3 different frequencies tested).
 
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KnightinGale

Arachnoknight
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Sep 16, 2009
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Ha, I was lucky. Now that I'm living down where there are some latrodectus I wanted one, opened the door one day and there she was just wandering by the threshhold. All it took was a cup, AND now that I have seen more widows I realized that she was the biggest I have encountered, AND she never even laid an eggsac to complicate things for me. Sorry, that all just slipped out. Hope you manage to catch your porch one. Mine has lasted over two years now and I'm pretty stoked.
I've never tried teasing widows, but I did find the same as you guys with some orb weavers. There were some that I could get to spring down over and over again, even right after it had retreated. Others just never would buy it for some reason. Now I am curious about this and think I will experiment next summer. :D
 

buthus

Arachnoprince
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Jun 8, 2006
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Repetition can freak them out or make them think a male (most likely wrong species) is in the web. Vibration... hmmm.. never played with that directly yet have kept widows that deal with fan/motor vibrations all day long.

Ive used 2 successful methods .. best being ..bring some bugs! I like 'winged' moths or slightly crippled earwigs. :} Or a very lightweight prodding tool ...a long soft bristled brush (water color/ink brush or something homemade) with all but a few bristled cut off. The few bristles should be spaced apart so one can wiggle n'twist to simulate an insects struggle without the clumsy force of a large manipulating being. This has worked decently for me for other spiders as well ..such as ones that produce delicate webbing, sheets, traps etc.
 
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