X-Large !

Stormcrow

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 14, 2002
Messages
297
Somebody was surely smiling down upon me today, in the small yard behind my place, I found the largest Black Widow (L.hesperus) I have ever seen in quite a while usually catch juvs. I was looking for various creatures like mantids and common spiders (occassionally even swat down mud daubers and wasps for my webbed friends) when I came upon a ebon monster sitting contently in her web beneath the gate leading out to the sidewalk beyond. I immediately dashed back inside and grabbed a small pimento jar, exited again, looked around for an armlength stick and found one. (Had to cut off her escape route by destroying her web.) Took the lid off the jar and set it close by. Stood back up and watched her a couple of seconds before sweeping the stick between the Widow and the fence, hoping the arachnid would drop to the ground. Alas didn't happen, she dashed underneath the lower horizontal wood plank and I quickly fell to my knees, and discovered her scrunched form in a corner.

Took a twig and tried to coerce the Widow into falling to the ground which was less than foot beneath her. Being exceptionally gentle and avoiding her frail abdomen, touching her legs and backside, instead of doing the typical Latrodectus stop, drop, and roll as I had expected the mighty black huntress flew a couple of inches and creeped up between the diangnol plank on the gate and vertical planks. Oh crap, went back inside and got the key to the gate. Opened the lock and glanced on the outer side, nope, she didn't cross over to the other side. Impossible to find her hiding place, from either side of the gate, I grabbed the water hose, kinked it and turned H2O on full, approaching the gate and slowly released small pressure and flooded every the nook and cranny between the wood until I saw a small black object drop down into the gathering pool of water on the ground.
Tossing aside the hose as I watched the Widow desperately kick itself over and crawl out of the water, after grabbing the pimento jar, I placed the temporary glass confinement directly in front her path as the arachnid escaped the dangerously rising tidal pools of water and with trusted twig I coerced the Widow into the jar with a gentle tap on her rearside. Then capped the jar and walked away.

As of this moment, the L.hesperus is constructing a silken lair in a ten gallon terrarium with thin layer of coconut shaving and a twisted piece of driftwood covering half the terrarium, it's original occupant had long departed the living and the living quarters had sat since. Upon closer observation, I noticed the marking was not an hourglass shape but an exclamation point. A perfect crimson triangle spaced with a small rectangular crimson spot.

If I had a camera, I would definitely show off this relative behemoth with a tape measure beside her. The Widow also has a small white stripe across the interior dorsal portion of her abdomen. Tomorrow she will enjoy a good cricket meal yet she definitely didn't do bad in the wild, those outdoor crickets and common spiders have been strangely absent. Wonder why?!
 

Alex S.

Arachnolord
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 19, 2002
Messages
645
Latrodectus hesperus

Thats awesome! I just found two very nice L. hesperus within a foot of each other just the other day as well. It never gets boring no matter how many widows you find!

Alex S.
 

Lochala

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 1, 2004
Messages
393
That must be an awful purty spider. You should've taken a pic. :cool:
 

Chris V

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 7, 2004
Messages
207
Sam Shirley said:
That must be an awful purty spider. You should've taken a pic. :cool:
Im sure you have your share of widows in your area. Plenty of cedars, rock, and oaks...
 

Lochala

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 1, 2004
Messages
393
You bet. I live by a rock quarry and have found at least a 100 of these beauts in the cedar groves near the quarry so far. :cool:
 
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Brian S

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
Joined
May 29, 2004
Messages
6,543
Last weekend I went tarantula hunting and found nothing but juvenile L mactans. It seemed like they were under nearly every rock I turned over.
 

Stormcrow

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 14, 2002
Messages
297
Latrodectus hesperus is quite a large Widow, quite exciting to find them during any growth stage. Here in Riverside and the surrounding counties, Scolopendra polymorpha swarm the hills nearly as bad and are usually found under stones and other rubbish. There is an Aphonopelma species I infrequently run across too.
 

Lochala

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 1, 2004
Messages
393
I found at least 10 babies and juveniles in the garage today while i was busting up old furniture, they larger ones didnt even have an hourglass yet.
 
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