RED WIDOW


Scientific name

Latrodectus bishopi

Size

The average size of mature, female Red Widow spiders is approximately .5 inch, with a leg span of 1.5 to 2 inches. Mature, male Red Widow spiders are much smaller - approximately 1/3 the size of the female.

Description

The cephalothorax (head) and legs of Red Widow spiders are a rusty-reddish color. The abdomen is black, and generally has rows of red or orange dots, which are outlined in white or yellow. Red Widow spiders do not typically have the well-known hourglass marking on the underside of their abdomen, but instead have only one single red mark, which resembles a flattened triangle.

Distribution

The Red Widow is only found in central and southern Florida. It is not known to exist outside of the United States.
Map of US states the Red Widow is found in.
Map does not show area of true distribution, only the states in which there is a population.
Actual distribution in any highlighted state may be limited.

Notes

Not much is known about the venom of Red Widow spiders, but it is assumed that it is similar to that of other species of widow spiders. As with all widow spiders, only the female of the species is considered dangerous. The much smaller male is considered harmless. Red Widow spiders are nocturnal, which means they are active during the nighttime.

For more information on dangerously venomous spiders, please see the Venomous Links page.


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