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Black Widow Spider - Latrodectus mactans - female

Black Widow Spider - Latrodectus mactans - Female
Kingstown, Queen Anne's County, Maryland, USA
July 21, 2012
I am interested in whether folks think this is a Southern or Northern Black Widow Spider. It has a complete unbroken hourglass on the ventrum (which points toward mactans) but it also has several red spots down the dorsum (which is more like variolus). I've read that there is lots of variation in these species which only complicates things.

Images of this individual: tag all
Black Widow Spider - Latrodectus mactans - female Black Widow Spider - Latrodectus mactans - female

Moved from Widow Spiders. Just stumbled on this set; I agree, the hourglass is complete in Latrodectus mactans, but is split in L. variolus. So I placed this under L. mactans, based on the nice venter image. Immatures of both species are really variable, as has been mentioned, and both can be colorful with stripes and dots, etc.

Moved from ID Request.

Black widow
There is a lot of variation - I don't know enough to say one way or the other. It looks like a juvenile? Here's a young L. mactans for comparison:

From the spots and white srtipes on the sides, I'm pretty sure this is a Northern Black Widow.

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