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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