Although it’s “common knowledge” that black widows have a distinct red marking, it’s not always the hourglass figure that many think.
Interestingly enough, not all adult black widow spiders exhibit the red hourglass on the ventrum underside or top of the abdomen — some may have a pair of red spots or have no marking at all. Female black widows often exhibit various red markings on the dorsal or top side of the abdomen, commonly two red spots. However, young black widow spiders are believed to have at least some sort of marking on their abdomens.
Adult male black widows are roughly half the size of the females and are usually gray or brown rather than black and red; while they may sometimes have an hourglass marking on their ventral abdomen, it is usually yellow or white, not red. Variation in specifics by species and by gender is vast; any spider exhibiting a red hourglass or a pair of large red round spots on the ventral abdomen with an otherwise black shiny body is an adult female black widow.
There are many different types of garden spider, most of the time these spiders are found in the lawn or garden but can also be found within the home as well. Garden spiders include the following: meshweb spiders, crab spiders, running crab spiders, wolf spiders, nursery web spiders, comb-footed spiders, stretch spiders, orb-web spiders, sheet web spiders, dwarf spiders, sac spiders, and buzzing spiders. Most all of garden spiders are orb weaving, which basically means that they are known for their orb looking webs.
The brown widow spider, Latrodectus geometricus, became established in Southern California in early 2000 and has become well entrenched as part of the local spider fauna in urban Los Angeles and San Diego. The brown widow spider is continuing its expansion in Southern California and could possibly move northward into Central California.
This species is abundant and widespread across the entire world, and is closely associated with buildings and other man-made structures. The teardrop-shaped, papery brown egg sacs can aid in their identification. The spider’s color and body shape cause them to be mistaken for “brown widows” on occasion.
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