Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Photo#83071
Immature female western black widow - Latrodectus hesperus - female

Immature female western black widow - Latrodectus hesperus - Female
Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
August 4, 2006
I was walking through the Oldman River Valley in Lethbridge when I came across a tangled web about half a meter wide built over an exposed patch of clay on the south facing side of a gully. There was a small funnel of web leading to a crack in the clay. When I pried open the crack I found this spider curled up in a ball. The underside had the classic red hourglass. There were also 2 males in the same web. I collected all 3 and bred the female with one of the males on August 21, after she matured. The males have both died since then but the female made an eggsack on October 10.

Is this really L. hesperus
I wonder if this could be L. variolus.

I realize immature females often have markings that disappear but these markings look substantially different from the markings on the immature female that were on the immature L. hesperus female that I uploaded an image of. ( http://bugguide.net/node/view/224583/bgimage ). The markings are also consistent with what I thought L. variolus looked like.

Is Alberta in the range of L. hesperus?