For the identification of insects and other fauna and flora of South Africa: please click on the following links:
Insects and related species: Antlions - Ants - Bees - Beetles - Bugs - Butterflies, Moths and Caterpillars - Centipedes and Millipedes - Cockroaches - Crickets - Dragonflies and Damselflies - Grasshoppers and Katydids - Mantis - Stick Insects - Ticks and Mites - Wasps - Woodlice
Plants, Trees, Flowers: (Note: Unless plants fall into a specific species such as Cacti, they have been classified by their flower colour to make them easier to find) Bonsai - Cacti, Succulents, Aloes, Euplorbia - Ferns and Cycads - Flowers - Fungi, Lichen and Moss - Grass - Trees
Animals, Birds, Reptiles etc.: Animals, Birds, Fish and Crabs - Frogs - Lizards - Scorpions - Snails and Slugs - Snakes - Spiders - Tortoise, Turtles and Terrapins - Whipscorpions
Other photography: Aeroplanes - Cars and Bikes - Travel - Sunrise - Water drops/falls - Sudwala and Sterkfontein Caves etc.

Videos: YouTube

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Black / Brown Widow Spider

Here is, for me, an interesting one on the Black Widow Spider. This young lady made her nest in the gate at the office and I managed to get a few nice shots of her. What we discovered was that there are two varieties, the Black and the Brown Widow Spider. Of these two, the Brown Widow, pictured here, is the more dangerous of the two. But she is tiny, only about 4mm (less than half an inch) in diameter. Some of the species are very colorful and are not only black as I had previously thought.
Markings on the back....
and on the stomach.

23 comments:

Tony nile life said...

Very brave taking such close shots to share .

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Hello Tony. This spider would not harm me unless I hurt it and I am quite careful around them.

Leeloo said...

She's quite the pretty lady ;) I didn't know about brown widow spiders, thank you for sharing. I would love to see and take pictures of a black widow someday, I think they are very pretty and dainty looking creatures. Awesome pictures, Joan :)

Craver Vii said...

Wow, 4 mm is tiny! More like 1/4 inch. She's so pretty though. If I had named her, I would have called her a "vanilla" widow.

Gaelyn said...

Clearly an hourglass on the belly, but that spotted brown back sure is different. Hope you get more shots.

Andrea said...

Thank you Joan for this post.
I like very much to know what could be dangerous and what is not...
And my experience about african spiders is below zero...

Tricia said...

I didn't know that either - YIKES!

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Joan: Stay away, those are very dangerous. I'm glad you didn't do one of those on your hand shots.

Leeloo said...

By the way, I forgot to tell you, I love lychees! Yummy!

Krista said...

So pretty and so terrifying, at the same time!!! EEEEP!

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

I am glad you found this interesting Leeloo. Some of these spiders can be very pretty though a LOT of people will disagree with me. :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

LOL!! I like that Craver and I am sure she would appreciate it too. :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

I was surprised to find in how many colors they came Gaelyn as I was always under the impression that were only black with red markings.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

You are welcome Andrea my friend. No spiders will harm you unless you squash them or something so I am not sure why people are so frightened of them.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

LOL!! Thanks Tricia, glad I could tell you something interesting. :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Tom. At most a bite from one of these will hurt for a while but they cannot actually kill a human.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

I am SO pleased you got to try the lychees Leeloo. I have been wondering about that and wanted to ask. :) Now you know why I make such a pig of myself during their short season. :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

LOL!! And yet you handled a tarantula Krista? No my friend, you are not allowed to be scared of these tiny ones now. :)

Becky and Gary said...

Oh my, there you go again. What will you do with this gal? Do you leave her alone or move her, or what?
Do be careful!
B.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

LOL!! Am I that bad? LOL!! No I left her there to have her brood. I will just make sure no one disturbes her. :)

Rambling Woods said...

Interesting spider. Not sure I would let her hang out in my house like I do some of the house spiders here...

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

LOL!! It is quite safe to have around. The only thing I worry about with spiders like this is if there are small children around which could accidently hurt it and get bitten. They can get quite sick from a bit. Otherwise, I like them around as they keep the bug population down. :) Thanks Michelle.

michael012 said...

Yes, brown widow spiders are more dangerous than black widows. But since they're smaller than black widows, they find a hard time injecting enough venom to the human skin. Source: brownwidowspider.net