Southern Black Widow

Latrodectus mactans

Southern Black Widow female
Female  
>>Venomous<<
Photo by Eric Williams
The female Black Widow is 3/8 inch in length, while the male is 1/8 inch.  The bite of the female contains a potent venom, and can cause serious problems in humans.  The female of this species can be easily recognized by the red hourglass marking on the underside of the abdomen.  The web is irregular in shape with a funnel that leads to a protected retreat.  Another closely related species found in Kentucky is the Northern Black Widow (Latrodectus variolus), in which the hourglass is broken up into two halves.

Other Internet Resources:
Black Widow Spiders - Spiders of Kentucky
Black Widows - Hobo Spider
Southern Black Widow - Nick's Spiders of North America
Black Widows - The Wyvern's Lair

KY Spiders and Kin
DCAS HOME MEETINGS NEWSLETTERS LISTS HABITAT KIDS PHOTOS LINKS
Daviess County Audubon Society