Sunday, April 6, 2008

Black Widow!

I found this "pretty lady" with the hourglass figure playing dead in my carport this weekend. She started kicking after getting swept into a plastic zipper bag so I could use her for a City Daily Photo post. Here, she is alive on top of the hood of my car (for photo purposes)! Other than eating her mate, these highly poisonous arachnids aren't too aggressive, but when they strike, they deliver their punch with a neurotoxin that can kill, especially if you aren't a healthy adult.
Now, in case you are wondering if my yard or neighborhood is overrun with poisonous critters such as this, that could be...BUT a neighbor said that black widows sometimes like to hide in garden flats, those plastic trays you bring your flowers and veggies home in for planting.
So, I remembered that we had stored a flat of tomato plants in the carport for a few days. On Friday, I moved the flat into the utility room due to brewing bad weather. The spider was right in front of the utility door.
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20 comments:

brian said...

that's kind of scary! i'd hate to reach in some gardening things and get bitten. nice photo though....

marley said...

Scary stuff! Looks pretty. Pretty nasty!

Nathalie said...

We regularly had redback spiders in our outdoor furniture in Sydney, and from your description they are fairly similar to your black widows... you just get to them, don't you?

Southern Heart said...

She's very pretty...but would give me the shivers! I'll keep that in mind about flats, too. We also have a problem with brown recluse spiders in this area, do you?

slinger said...

Wow, that's a very incredible shot considering what kind of damage that little bugger can do.

Slinger - Daily Photos from the Twin Cities

Kris McCracken said...

So after this photo, is it "outside for you, my lovely" or "SPLAT!"?

(I favour the “into a container and into the freezer” for the deadly ones myself.)

David said...

We have lots of these spiders in Australia. Everyone knows them well, and I'm always finding them hiding in dark places. They are most dangerous to children, but can also kill adults.

Unfortunately, a colony of these spiders have decided the computer is a great place to live - many days when I wake up in the morning and sit down at the computer a redback is hanging there greeting me!!! Another favourite place for these "fellers" is the toilet - hence the old Aussie song "there was a redback on the toilet seat....." :)

Cheers,

David Webb: Pictures of Nature

Wendy said...

Great photos! I really like the butterfly on clover shot.

oldmanlincoln said...

I usually see one like your's here each summer. Not many. Just one. They are beautiful creatures and especially fascinating under extreme macro.

Did you ever see a tiny fly hanging on the edge of a honey bee's wing?

Abraham Lincoln in Brookville, Ohio had a picture of one that he took.

Dina said...

Oh gross!! First time I actually see the famous fiddle. Thank you for posting it.
While volunteering at Heifer Ranch in Arkansas I suffered from a brown recluse spider bite on the leg. But I'd trade a whole summer of itching, oozing chigger bites for just one week of swelling and pain from the spider.

quintarantino said...

Scary and yet a magnificent photo!

Chris said...

I wanted you to know that I stopped by, but because of my shoulder surgery, I can't type with both hands. Visiting the sites, though, has helped brighten my day!

Chris
http://nashville-dailyphoto.blogspot.com

Dina said...

Rambling Round, I'm glad you managed not to get bitten!

Rambling Round said...

Dina, thanks! I was very careful. The spider seemed a bit groggy anyway.

David, I didn't realize how common black widows are in Australia. I would be afraid to go barefoot.

Kris, neither! The spider is getting donated to my son's college biology class IF he is brave enough to take it along and the college is willing to let it in!
Too bad this spider didn't come along when my husband took entomology. The prof. offered an A to any student who brought in a black widow spider...or was it a brown recluse? One of 'em. Nobody could fulfill that assignment.

Dina said...

Do you have hairy tarantulas too?

Halcyon said...

I probably wouldn't even recognize a black widow! I certainly wouldn't sweep one up for a photo.

Did you let her go on her merry way after the shoot?

Mo said...

Terrifies me just looking at the photo.

ptowngirl said...

Yikes! That is really scary! Thanks for letting us know that they can be in those little black flats you get from the garden center; I didn't know that, but will definitely be more cautious in the future. Now that I got all of that out of the way, it is a great photo!

Old Wom Tigley said...

She is a beauty... but boy I don't like spiders...

IamMBB said...

yep, that's a pretty creepy pic. Eerily pretty but creepy.