Please excuse the quality of my pictures in this blog. I was not about to be in close proximity to a black widow spider.
I don’t ever remember seeing a black widow before, and in this gallon pickle jar is the way I’d prefer to see one. My youngest son found it at a friends house and brought it to me. (I have my boys trained to bring me unusual things.)
This is a female. A female’s is up to a half-inch long, has a shiny black body with 3 red spots on the top of their abdomen, and 2 red spots underneath that look like an hourglass. The shape of the hourglass can vary and even be a dot. Males are half the size of the female, and both can sometimes be brown. The markings can also be yellow or red.
Black widows are highly venomous and can inflict a painful bite that can be fatal. Sometimes the bites aren’t painful. They can be found outdoors in woodpiles, rubble piles, under stones, in hollow stumps, sheds and garages. They can also be found in undisturbed cluttered areas in basements and crawl spaces.
Then what to do with the spider? I wasn’t about to turn it loose in the yard. I didn’t want to kill it. She was such a beautiful spider. So I finally took her back and turned her loose beside a farm field where I knew there wouldn’t be any people active there.