Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Latrodectus Mactans

or more commonly called, the black widow spider. It's scientific name is a mixture of Latin and Greek meaning, murderous biting robber.
It's venom is 15 times more potent than that of the rattle snake.
Sounds bad but in reality when it does bite a human, a very small amount of venom is used, and only about 1% of victims die. Many people are bitten each year, and usually it's the very young, old, or immune compromised that fall victim.
Their bite causes severe muscle cramping so although very rarely deadly, it's far from pleasant.
 Why am I telling you all about this black beauty?
Because while in Virginia, I found four of them!
 One of the group leaders casually told me that she once found one in the outdoor showers. That was enough to get me out searching. Clearly she did not know that I was far from a normal person in that respect.
With in 5 minutes, I had found my first big beauty, with a few sackfuls of babies!
I quietly approached Jess, and told her of my glorious find. She immediately grabbed her camera and we called the kids.
"Who wants to go see a Black Widow Spider?
The kids were practically hopping with excitement as we approached the shower.
 We all got a great look at her ( thanks for this photo Jess!),

 and her egg sacks.

A day later I found another two outdoor showers I did not know about, and found 3 more! I was so excited.
 I asked one of the Marine Science Consortium guides, if he could capture one so we could see it closer. And he did!

I was pleased to know that they were going to let these creatures live their life out in the showers for the winter, as the outdoor showers are rarely used.
Since Marlin is interested in going to sleep over camp here, I am glad that she can identify one and keep her distance.

I am really glad we all got a chance to see one up close and respectfully.

My boys were really excited as we have seen so many documentaries, and have read all about them.

Apparently there is a species in Connecticut, it looks a bit different, and is relatively rare.
I have looked a lot for them but have never found them. So I was pretty pleased to finally see one.
It was such a cool bonus to an already great weekend!


Jessica said...

As soon as I saw your title, I knew what this post was about! I forgot to post about these arachnids. I swear to you I will never forgot the moment when you walked into the room and said "I found a black widow, wanna see?" That is why I love you.

I am going to email the pictures I took. I was able to crop and enlarge so that you can see the red spot. You can add it if you want!

mamak said...

You are awesome! It was so cool. I could hardly control myself as I strolled in. I wanted to run in and shout. I had to play it extra cool so my inner freak didn't pop out and dance.
It was hard!

MamaTea said...

Beautiful little murderous biting robbers, aren't they? ;) How awesome to see one...or more!...up close!

mamak said...

They were really cool, and I was super lucky. It was like I was the winner of an archanid lottery.
Not really.
But it kind of was.

mouster said...

ewwww but very cool!

mamak said...

Very cool indeed!

Ruralmama said...

We love spiders. We actively let house spiders live in our house, and when they get too plentiful, we release them onto the deck where they can find another nifty home.

Black widows are so cool. I loved seeing the pictures of them up close!

Heart Rockin Mama said...

So cool. You and the spiders!

Jessica said...

Your a lot braver then we are with spiders! I hav enever seen one before but they look a lot like our Aussie Redbacks. They also can be a little nasty!