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Brown widow spider (Latrodectus geometricus)

The brown widow spider (Latrodectus geometricus) is an introduced and synanthropic species now common in Southern California. While its venom is actually more toxic than that of the western black widow (L. hesperus), brown widow bites are typically much less severe in humans (perhaps due to the quantity of venom administered). Together, these two species are the only spiders with established populations in California whose venom is of medical significance.

Brown widow spider (Latrodectus geometricus) egg sacs. Stock Photo ID=SPI0245
Brown widow spider egg sacs are easily recognized by their silk spikes. Note the spiderling near the exit hole in the bottom of the lowest sac. El Dorado Nature Center, Los Angeles County, California.
SPI0245

Brown widow (Latrodectus geometricus), a venomous spider now common in Southern California. Stock Photo ID=SPI0246
Brown widow spider (Latrodectus geometricus), ventral view of a small female. Los Angeles County, California.
SPI0246

Brown widow (Latrodectus geometricus), a venomous spider now common in Southern California. Stock Photo ID=SPI0247
Brown widow spider (Latrodectus geometricus), mature female. One feature that can help to differentiate the mature female brown widow from the superficially similar immature female black widow is the shape of the hourglass. On brown widows, this signature marking is typically wider at the posterior end than the anterior end. On most black widows, the posterior end of the marking is a little narrower. Los Angeles County, California.
SPI0247

Brown widow (Latrodectus geometricus), a venomous spider now common in Southern California. Stock Photo ID=SPI0248
Brown widow spider (Latrodectus geometricus), ventrolateral view of a mature female. Los Angeles County, California.
SPI0248

Brown widow (Latrodectus geometricus), a venomous spider now common in Southern California. Stock Photo ID=SPI0249
Brown widow spider (Latrodectus geometricus), lateral view of an adult female among foliage. Los Angeles County, California.
SPI0249

Brown widow (Latrodectus geometricus), a venomous spider now common in Southern California. Stock Photo ID=SPI0250
Brown widow spider (Latrodectus geometricus), mature female with a unique and stunning perspective. Los Angeles County, California.
SPI0250

Next Spider: Common house spider (Parasteatoda tepidariorum)



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All images copyright Timothy Boomer. All rights reserved worldwide.