I have a real website now rather than a blog. Though I will keep this one open for a while, I will no longer keep this one up. My new site, "USA Spiders" is not fully completed but getting close. I made sure to get the Michigan page finished first. :o) Please use
USA Spiders in the future and if you find any problems with the site, please let me know so I can fix them.

Spiders verified to be here in Michigan are listed on the left sidebar. On the right sidebar, are the spiders of which pictures have been sent in to me.

The BROWN RECLUSE SPIDER! - Rick Vetter, the worlds top expert on the Brown recluse has published a book on the infamous Brown recluse spider. Learn the truth behind the worlds most misunderstood spider. (BUY IT HERE!)

My Disclaimer
My Knowledge and Why I am Not an Expert

Spider Questions and IDENTIFICATION Requests
My EMAIL can be found in the above link. I am always happy to help identify a spider, but please do us both a favor and read this before emailing me. Thanks.

Describing your Spider ..... Photographing your Spider

Your Fear of Spiders
........... Spiders in your Home?


Beyond Spider Dome - Where two spiders enter and one comes out.

Spiders and Drugs - Documentary video about the effects different drugs have on spiders.

Play with a computerized spider
- (flash)

Spider Diagram. - Basic anatomy of a spider.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Northern Black Widow

The Northern Black Widow spider is becoming more common in the southwestern part of the lower peninsula of Michigan. I have reported in the past that they were very rare but that no longer seems to be the case. Recently I had someone email me with a picture of a black widow spider he found near the western coast of the lower peninsula, almost half way up the state. I began looking into this and found the following three links (one of which he sent to me as proof).
Michigan DNR
Diagnostic Services (at MSU)

Michigan Spiders - Northern Black Widow Spider-2Female

Michigan Spiders - Northern Black Widow Spider-3Female

Michigan Spiders - Northern Black Widow Spider-MaleMale

PHOTOS - The pictures above are not taken in Michigan. They are simply pictures of the spider I found on the internet to help people understand the different looks of the Black Widow. Being as I found them on Google Images, I do not know what site they were from but I will add the address if someone can identify them.

In no way was I meaning to steal these pics as my own and I apologize to any who were misled.

- Females - A glossy black with a red hour glass shape on the underneath side (may be half a glass or split in half). Many will have red marks on the back of the abdomen as well as white stripes on the sides. Males - Usually have red or yellow stripes or spots across the back. Infant Widows of both sex usually look more like the adult males.

Cephalothorax - Approximately half the size of the abdomen, it is also glossy black but has no markings.

Legs - Both, Male and Female have long thin black legs. Though the male is much smaller than the female, it has longer looking legs. In some cases, the legs will have bands of red around them.

- Females are approximately 1.5 inches including their legs. Males are much smaller.

Bite Info - Though the Black Widow is the most venomous spider in the United States, less than 1% of its bites will result in death. Young children and elderly adults are most at risk of fatality if the bite injects its venom. Often it can bite without actually injecting any venom, leaving its bite harmless. However, if after being bitten, the victim begins feeling muscle cramps or abdominal pain, they should go to a hospital. Hospitals have medicines to counter the venom as well as reduce the symptoms.

Other Notes - There are a few different Genus of the Black Widow. The Northern Black Widow would likely be the one found in Michigan in Michigan.

In some cases, the Black Widow will have more of a brown coloring to it.

Genus - Latrodectus variolus