Latrodectus (Theridiidae) Picture Thread

Kugellager

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Here are a couple of pics of my fat female L. hesperus which at last count was up to 20 egg sacs since June 2002. Her abdomen is about 1 cm in diameter.

John
];')
 

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Tarantula

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I take it her eggsacs werent very productive? Or did you have a male to breed her with?
 

Kugellager

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She came fertile when she was given to me by someone who collected her by their house. Though I did find a male widow in my coat closet a few months back. The males live only a month or two after their final molt and usually don't eat.

All the egg sacs I have kept have been fertile and have hatched 100's of spiderlings. I have a vial with 3 sacs in it now and 2 of the 3 have hatched. I have noticed that when the egg sacs are nearing time to hatch, if I lightly mist the side of the vial the egg sac hatches with in one day.

I am allowing the older slings to consume the newer hatchlings with the idea of getting only a few adult spiders out of the group. Most of slings that have hatched I have let go back into the wild in various wild places away from people.

John
];')
 

Venom

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Out of curiosity, what's the difference between L. hesperus and L. mactans ? Size ? Markings ?

Very nice spider btw !
 

Kugellager

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From what I have read L.mactans generally has the hourglass as one whole marking while L.hesperus generally has it seperated into two triangles as in my pics.

Also L.hesperus is confined to the western US while L.mactans is generally found in the eastern US.

John
];')
 

Kugellager

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Yes they are all the same species....The slings/juvies have that pattern 'til they are mature. The males keep this pattern but the females are the typical black color as in the first two pics.

John
];')
 

Wade

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It's the western black widow.

There's a total of 5 widow species in the US:

L. hesperus (western black widow)
L. mactans (southern black widow)
L. variolus (northern black widow)
L. bishopi (red widow)
L. geometricus (brown widow)

The last is an introduced species that pretty much lives throughout the warmer parts of the world, the others are all native. The northern and southern are both fairly common where I live.

Wade
 

XOskeletonRED

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Nice pic rig, Kug.

I used to catch L. mactans all the time in North Carolina. I'm in North Ga now though and don't see them as often. I'll be out and about this year catching everything I can though. I mostly see females, but occasionally see males as well. I always catch wolf spiders in the basement though and the black and red locusts are common around me as well. The locusts usually end up as prey for my large gravid scorps though. They are really neat too!

adios,
edw. =D
 
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