T Nation

Latrodectus Mactans


I just found this in the folds of a pool I am emtying to get rid of. It’s the largest I have come across yet. Freaky, yet interesting as hell. I had my son right by me as I saw it, so I had to really explain how dangerous it is and to NEVER touch a spider, and to always get me when he finds one.

Hey, asshole… way to warn us it was a gross ass spider.

[quote]BigRagoo wrote:
I just found this in the folds of a pool I am emtying to get rid of. It’s the largest I have come across yet. Freaky, yet interesting as hell. I had my son right by me as I saw it, so I had to really explain how dangerous it is and to NEVER touch a spider, and to always get me when he finds one.[/quote]

Cool. I always werar gloves when I’m in the “Sanford and Son” part of my yard and need to move stuff.

Many BW’s in Central/Northern CA, hell North America I think…you’re the bug expert.

Good lesson for the kids too, they need to know which ones to play with and which to leave alone!

[quote]rrjc5488 wrote:
Hey, asshole… way to warn us it was a gross ass spider.[/quote]

What a wuss.

I hate those fuckers…my dad was bitten by a brown recluse years ago - he still has the marks on his leg to this day and he almost lost his leg.

[quote]MODOK wrote:
Did you know that the silk from a black widow is one of the strongest of all spiders? It was even used years ago to make crosshairs on high powered rifle scopes. I have no idea why I felt the need to share that…[/quote]

While it is strong, the silk from the Nephila genus is the absolute strongest of the spiders. They are adapting the structure of this substance to make bullet proof vests.


a few more pics, though a bit blurry.


.

I used to work in a place that stored lots of pottery outside in the open. We had to move those pots all the time, and black widows would get in those all the time.

I’ve seen one or two black widows elsewhere, but I came across maybe a dozen of the little buggers in those damn pots.

Never got bitten!

[quote]rsg wrote:
I hate those fuckers…my dad was bitten by a brown recluse years ago - he still has the marks on his leg to this day and he almost lost his leg.[/quote]

Necrosis is the cause of the scars. The venom breaks down tissue into a mush. Very common in recluse and black widow bites.

[quote]Rockscar wrote:
Cool. I always werar gloves when I’m in the “Sanford and Son” part of my yard and need to move stuff.

[/quote]

Very smart idea. They love dark, tight places, like under wood or between things stacked tightly together.

And they can be found throughout the U.S.

I was more surprised by the size of it than just finding it. I see them all the time at work, along with brown widows (yes, that is a spider).

[quote]rrjc5488 wrote:
Hey, asshole… way to warn us it was a gross ass spider.[/quote]

Jsut be lucky that I didn’t put a pic of a large huntsman up then.

[quote]rrjc5488 wrote:
Hey, asshole… way to warn us it was a gross ass spider.[/quote]

He warned you the title, jackass. The species common to California is L. hesperus.

So how big is it? I came across some real monsters in the woods at Ft. Bragg many years ago. When I say monster BWs, I mean an inch or so in diameter (legs included). The main body part (the ball, whatever you call it) was probably 0.5".

We were chilling out in the prone in a perimeter at the base of a tree that had a little hollow at the base when along came a decent sized beetle. All of a sudden, three of those mamajamas came out and beat the living crap out of the beetle. Then they carried it away. True story. We moved a little further away from the tree.

DB

[quote]barbos01 wrote:
rrjc5488 wrote:
Hey, asshole… way to warn us it was a gross ass spider.

He warned you the title, jackass. [/quote]

Hahahahahahahahaha!!!

Oh, a quick warninng to you guys that flip tires for your gpp: check the inside of the tire beofre handling, because that is a favorite place for widows to set up shop. Believe me, I have found many in old tires.

[quote]dollarbill44 wrote:
So how big is it? I came across some real monsters in the woods at Ft. Bragg many years ago. When I say monster BWs, I mean an inch or so in diameter (legs included). The main body part (the ball, whatever you call it) was probably 0.5".

We were chilling out in the prone in a perimeter at the base of a tree that had a little hollow at the base when along came a decent sized beetle. All of a sudden, three of those mamajamas came out and beat the living crap out of the beetle. Then they carried it away. True story. We moved a little further away from the tree.

DB[/quote]

Well, the one’s I usually see have had abdomens the size of a petite pea, or slightly larger. This one’s abdomen was larger than a mature pea, larger than a swollen dog tick. The leg span was definitely larger than two inches. Like I said I was amazed at the size.

It was the size of some wolf spiders.

What’s the purpose of the red marking on it?

Those things are nasty looking. Over here (Ireland) spiders are tiny and completely harmless.
I don’t know what I’d do if I came across that guy.

[quote]tribulus85 wrote:
What’s the purpose of the red marking on it?
[/quote]

Honestly, I don’t think anyone is sure. It could be a color contrast to warn potential predators that they are about to take on death. Such is the case with poison dart frogs, coral snakes, gila monsters, and certain catepillars.

Sharp color contrast, in nature, serves to those nearby as a warning meant to be seen, instead of the prey type animals that camouflage themselves.

However, I don’t know just what the hourglass shape means.

Yet another reason why living in the north is a good thing.