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Brown widows pushing out their more-dangerous cousins
The Inland valley daily bulletin ^ | 5-12-2013 | Ben Baeder, staff writer

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


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; Outdoors; Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS:

I hate black widows, at least these brown ones don't seem to kill you so much.

more pics at link.

1 posted on 05/13/2013 12:42:23 AM PDT by Bullish
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To: Bullish


2 posted on 05/13/2013 1:25:21 AM PDT by shibumi (Cover it with gas and set it on fire.)
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To: shibumi

Oooh did she really wear that?


3 posted on 05/13/2013 1:33:31 AM PDT by Bullish (Psalm 46)
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To: shibumi

Thought the same thing as I was reading article


4 posted on 05/13/2013 1:36:29 AM PDT by Nailbiter
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To: Norm Lenhart
And he shall rise as their most fitting successor...ping


5 posted on 05/13/2013 1:38:59 AM PDT by Salamander (And join with us please ...Valkyrie maidens ride.. Empty-handed on the cold wind to Valhalla.)
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To: shibumi

I would look good in that.

[unlike her]


6 posted on 05/13/2013 1:40:21 AM PDT by Salamander (And join with us please ...Valkyrie maidens ride.. Empty-handed on the cold wind to Valhalla.)
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To: Bullish

Yes, she did. It was a warning of things to come.


7 posted on 05/13/2013 2:20:45 AM PDT by goldi
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To: Bullish

yes she did and that is the first thing I thought of when I saw that dress at the first 4 years


8 posted on 05/13/2013 2:42:39 AM PDT by television is just wrong
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To: Bullish

I have seen these so any spider that shape no matter what color is being killed!


9 posted on 05/13/2013 2:46:02 AM PDT by television is just wrong
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To: Bullish

Just do an image search with the words “michelle-obama-black-widow-spider-dress.”

Then stand back from the screen.


10 posted on 05/13/2013 2:51:46 AM PDT by shibumi (Cover it with gas and set it on fire.)
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To: goldi

She’s going to eat her mate?


11 posted on 05/13/2013 3:22:47 AM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: Bullish

Reading your headline..still somewhat sleepy, I thought it said “brown recluse”..THOSE are really bad...


12 posted on 05/13/2013 3:50:08 AM PDT by ken5050 (Not every Muslim is a terrorist, but just about every terrorist is a Muslim..)
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To: Bullish
They say (and I believe it) wherever you are, you're never more than 3 feet away from a spider. Meanwhile, there seems to be a big tick infestation in this area this year. I wonder what kind of spiders would kill ticks. And scorpions and vinegaroons.

Wife hasn't encountered either of the latter here yet. When she does she'll probably want to move back to western Oregon.

13 posted on 05/13/2013 4:56:57 AM PDT by Clinging Bitterly (I will not comply.)
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To: Bullish
"They love cheap, plastic patio furniture,"

So, if I invest in higher priced patio furniture, that'll keep them away?

14 posted on 05/13/2013 5:56:56 AM PDT by bgill (The problem is...no one is watching the Watch List!)
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To: Bullish

Is it acceptable behavior to kill these with fire as well?


15 posted on 05/13/2013 6:37:49 AM PDT by liege (You don't drive out the darkness; you turn on the light.)
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To: Bullish

I go out at night with a flashlight and fly swatter and kill as many as I can.


16 posted on 05/13/2013 6:44:38 AM PDT by US_MilitaryRules (Tastes like Heaven, Burns like Hell! Mmmmmm. What is it?)
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To: Bullish

Awwww damn!

17 posted on 05/13/2013 8:26:56 AM PDT by Free Vulcan (Vote Republican! You can vote Democrat when you're dead...)
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To: Clinging Bitterly

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!!!


18 posted on 05/13/2013 3:48:41 PM PDT by diamond6 (Lord, please have mercy on us!)
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To: diamond6

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.


19 posted on 05/14/2013 7:52:48 PM PDT by Clinging Bitterly (I will not comply.)
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