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6165 Views 5 Replies Last post: Jan 27, 2011 9:28 AM by bombuslucorum - Museum ID team RSS
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Jan 25, 2011 10:51 PM

False Widow Spider?

I found this wee fella scaling the wall in my kitchen a couple of weeks ago. I'm minded to think it's a false widow?

 

The place I live makes me dubious though. I'm 50 miles north of Inverness so have never heard of one so far north.

 

It's abdomen was about the size of a garden pea and the markings were slightly more white in colour than the photos suggest.

 

Any ideas would be appreciated as I'm far from an expert.

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    Jan 26, 2011 2:03 AM (in response to highlander)
    Re: False Widow Spider?
    Certainly looks like Steatoda noblis to me. They really have moved astonishingly quickly Northwards.
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      Jan 26, 2011 8:57 AM (in response to Lewis)
      Re: False Widow Spider?

      Looks of course can always be deceiving - this one example looking like Steatoda bipunctata.

       

      I will have to get you clued up Lewis, I will make it my mission and I am working on a set of Steatoda snaps to aid diagnosis . Note the stripy looking legs and the median line, which starts of at the front of the abdomen quite sharply at least. On this example this line branches out into chevrons which is partly due to it being so well fed and expanded. Being found so far north also settles the id - but you can't rule it out.

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        Re: False Widow Spider?
        Thanks Bombus. No excuses , I've got to start getting this right. I thought bipunctata had two quite obvious dips either side of the abdomen. The colour variation in the Steatoda is also quite offputting for me (as I'm red and green colourblind, which affects shading of these colours rather than an inability to see them). As you well know I remove about four or five of these a week from my house and some have very dark almost black bodies with no other markings and black legs while others although exactly the same in build will have bright red abdomen white marks and orange/red legs. This variation is more noted in the females while the males tend to be orange/red legs and thorax with a dark abdomen with two white marks to the top. This weekend while removing a drawer the largest one we've had in the house fell to the floor (all black) I didn't get the chance to photograph it as the good lady promptly threw a fit and time was of the essence in its removal. I've also noticed that a number of broods (noblis or grossa) have hatched recently around the lights in our car park. Could this be the first sign of Spring.
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        Re: False Widow Spider?
        Ok Bombus. I have blown up the pics and upped the fill light by about 15%. I can see the stripey legs and the two dents I mentioned earlier. The Median Line is quite pronounced as well.
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