Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Southern Black Widow Spider: Latrodectus mactans

I picked a sprig of Spoon-leaf Purple Everlasting (Gamochaeta purpurea) to photograph the seed head. As I rolled it the stem over between my fingers to pose the seed head, I noticed a small spider spinning a web along the stem between the individual flowers. It continued spinning its web apparently unconcerned by the movement.

It was only when I identified it that I discovered it was a male Southern Black Widow spider (Latrodectus mactans). Black Widow spiders are generally found in undisturbed sites – under logs, in woodpiles etc. This sighting was unusual in that the spider was on a plant in an open field.

Identification resource: Bugguide.net
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1 comment:

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