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!