We decided to move the fire circle from an area near the house to a more remote location out in the field. Jim moved the rocks with the tractor’s bucket loader and dumped them in a pile for me to edge later. I did that today, and as I was arranging the rocks, I noticed this spider. Immediately, I thought “Black Widow”!
I quickly took a picture of it.
I’ve learned that I need to take photos from multiple angles to capture all the identifying marks correctly, otherwise identification can be inconclusive.
I’ve since been easily able to identify this as a male Black Widow spider ( Lactrodectus mactans). Although my speciman’s legs are 100% black, not brown and segmented like the one in the link’s photo, I have learned that there are variations that include all black.
The bite of the male is harmless, but not so for the female. Female Black Widows are highly venomous. But the good news is that “these spiders have a neurotoxic venom which is rarely fatal when they bite. However, the venom can cause severe pain.”
Black Widows are often found near homes in dark corners of basements, under flower pots, wood piles, in water meters, in porch light fixtures, etc.
FYI, there are only two poisonous spiders in TN, the Black Widow and the Brown Recluse.
So, if we are keeping a list of poisonous animals in Sharps Chapel, TN, we have these two plus — the scorpion, which I saw mentioned in the Union County News a month or so ago.
Yes, life is an adventure.