Arachnids of North Carolina
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Scientific Name: Common Name: Family (Alpha):
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View Theridiidae Members: NC Records

Latrodectus variolus - Northern black widow


Taxonomy
Order: ARANEAEInfraorder: AraneomorphaeFamily: Theridiidae                                                                                 
Identification
Online Description/Photos: BugGuide, Google Images, Wikipedia
Comments: Females are shiny black, brown-black, with possibly a row of red spots on the top of the abdomen along the midline. Two reddish triangles resembling an hourglass are present on the underside of the abdomen. The male’s abdomen usually has red spots along the upper midline and white lines or bars radiating out to the sides. (The number of bars can indicate which species.) hourglass primarily split or partial, when complete anterior and posterior halves generally proportional. Hourglass often split in middle, with both halves or one half prominent to reduced, or hourglass is partial (anterior or posterior half absent) with either posterior or anterior half prominent or reduced, or hourglass is completely absent. Adult males show same hourglass variations as adult females. Northern black widow males have a wider than long 2nd orange/red spot.
Distribution in North Carolina
Comments:
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Adult phenology:
 High Mountains (HM) ≥ 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

Click on graph to enlarge
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: dry forest; large tangle of tough silk, retreat funnels into litter
Observation Methods:
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Behavior: Females are sedentary, staying on or near their web. They will bite if molested. Males and immatures are harmless.
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
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Photo Gallery for Latrodectus variolus - Northern black widow

Recorded by: K. Bischof, M. Smith
Beaufort Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof, M. Smith
Beaufort Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof
Transylvania Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof
Transylvania Co.
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Recorded by: j.wyche
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: J. Williams
Vance Co.
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Recorded by: J. Jakubowski, K. Moore
Chatham Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof
Burke Co.
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Recorded by: j.wyche
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: j.wyche
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: Jane Wyche
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: FKW, A. Hobbs, J.Greenwood
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: FKW, A. Hobbs, J.Greenwood
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: B. Bockhahn
Stokes Co.
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Recorded by: Joel Jakubowski
Wayne Co.
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Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Wilkes Co.
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Recorded by: Owen McConnell
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: D. Harvey
Chatham Co.
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Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Stokes Co.
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Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Surry Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall
Orange Co.
Comment: Male
Recorded by: Steve Hall
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall
Orange Co.
Comment: Male