Skip to comments.Brown widows pushing out their more-dangerous cousins
Posted on 05/13/2013 12:42:23 AM PDT by Bullish
They're messy, poisonous and prolific.
But at least they keep out their cousins, who are even worse.
Families venturing out this spring can now see the unique egg sacs of the brown widow spider, an invasive arachnid that is increasingly displacing black widow spiders in California's backyards. The egg sac is round and distinctively spiky, like a white cotton naval mine.
Brown widow spiders love to place their egg sacs on the bottom side of chairs.
"They love cheap, plastic patio furniture," said Mark Hoddle, the director of the UC Riverside Center for Invasive Species Research.
Brown widows are close cousins to black widows. They are usually brown with white stripes, and they often have the distinctive hourglass marking common to black widows, sometimes in a more muted tone than the bright-red/orange found on black widows. They also make similarly messy, sticky webs, Hoddle said. And they wouldn't carry the "widow" name if they didn't enjoy eating a mate from time to time.
Brown widow bites are infrequent, and they aren't nearly as damaging as a black widow bite, Hoddle said.
Brown widow poison is very strong, maybe stronger than black widow poison, according to one study. Scientists are still figuring out why the bites don't do much damage.
A typical bite leaves a small red mark, according to experts. And they generally won't bite unless Advertisement they are directly threatened, such as getting sat on or grabbed.
Black widow bites, while rarely fatal, tend to pack more of a punch, causing body aches and muscle soreness.
No one is exactly sure from which continent brown widow spiders hail, possibly South America or Africa.
But they're definitely not from California.
They showed up in the Golden State about a decade ago, and they started laying eggs at a breakneck pace - far faster than black widows.
These days, scientists looking in backyards find far more brown widows than black widows.
"We think they are just out breeding black widows," Hoddle said.
Now that they're here, they'll likely stay forever, Hoddle said.. Like crows and cockroaches, they do well around humans.
"They're very hardy and they're not so picky about where they live," said Stephen Goldberg, a biology professor at Whittier College.
Those with sympathy for the devil should have no fear.
Black widows will survive. They still love living in the woods or in bushes.
"They'll just be pushed out to natural areas," Hoddle said.
Read more: http://www.sgvtribune.com/news/ci_23228576/brown-widows-pushing-out-their-more-dangerous-cousins#ixzz2T9kaoJTq
I hate black widows, at least these brown ones don't seem to kill you so much.
more pics at link.
Oooh did she really wear that?
Thought the same thing as I was reading article
I would look good in that.
Yes, she did. It was a warning of things to come.
yes she did and that is the first thing I thought of when I saw that dress at the first 4 years
I have seen these so any spider that shape no matter what color is being killed!
Just do an image search with the words “michelle-obama-black-widow-spider-dress.”
Then stand back from the screen.
She’s going to eat her mate?
Reading your headline..still somewhat sleepy, I thought it said “brown recluse”..THOSE are really bad...
Wife hasn't encountered either of the latter here yet. When she does she'll probably want to move back to western Oregon.
So, if I invest in higher priced patio furniture, that'll keep them away?
Is it acceptable behavior to kill these with fire as well?
I go out at night with a flashlight and fly swatter and kill as many as I can.
After reading your post I thought to myself... hmmmm I wonder that’s true. Then later today as I am opening the door to let my kid in a small black spider is hovering on a single line of web, inside my doorway, saw me and started scooting back up. I killed it immediately and then thought, oh my gosh, that poster was right!!!
I’m thinking maybe some places in the arctic zones might be relatively free of spiders. But even if you don’t see them because they are under the floor or inside the walls, they are certainly nearby anywhere it is warm enough for them to move. Probably even on the space station.