How to recognize a violinist or black widow spider

How to recognize a violinist or black widow spider

There are different types of spiders that can be visitors inside or outside our homes, most of which are of no medical importance, meaning they do not contain toxic poison for the man.

Among the few species of spider whose venom is known to be poisonous to us, two stand out: the violinist spider (angle spiders or brown recluses) and the black widow spider (or capuline spider). Both are widely associated with our homes, as they have adapted so much to urban areas that they find it an ideal place to stay.

Given this, it is important to know how to identify these two arachnids so as not to confuse them with other types of spiders that do not pose any risk to us, and here we describe the morphological characteristics that you must take into account.

How to recognize a violin spider (genus: Loxosceles)

  • Size: Violin spiders are small, the body of these arachnids (not counting the legs) is a maximum of 1.25 centimeters, without observing a larger organism, you can stand out.
  • Legs: You shouldn’t see any obvious spines or color pattern (another type of spider, often confused with Loxoscele, have “tiger” legs).
  • Eyes: It has 6 eyes arranged in pairs; one facing forward and the other two to the sides.
Violinist spider eyes. Note that he has 6 eyes which are arranged in pairs; one facing forward and the other two to the sides.
  • Head spot (prosoma): As its name suggests, this spider is characterized by a violin-shaped spot on its head.
  • Body coloration: It is usually tan or brown, with no type of pattern present (such as lines or spots).
How to identify a violin spider. In the photo you can perfectly appreciate the violin-shaped spot on the head, the three pairs of eyes and the coloration of the rest of the brown/brown body without any type of lines or spots.

Remember, although they look big in the photo, they are really small.

How to recognize a black widow spider (genus: Latrodectus)

The main characteristics to distinguish a black widow spider:

  • Coloring: All spiders of this genus are mistakenly thought to be black, however, the reality is that its head (prosoma), rest of the body, and legs can have coloring ranging from black, brown, or light brown. .
  • Body: It stands out very well for its “globular” appearance and standing out from the rest of the body (although in males it is generally more elongated). Its color can be black, brown, brown, and on some occasions it has stripes, lines or spots on the upper part of the body.
Latrodectus brown in color. Take a good look at the spots he has on his globular body.

Latrodectus black. Observe the red spots on its globular body.
  • Legs: As with the fiddler spider, they have no visible spines, their color can range from black to light brown, and sometimes they can have darker stripes or spots. Also, the first and last pair of legs are usually longer.
  • Spot under the body: It is usually hourglass shaped and red in color, although both characteristics can vary and appear as a dot and orange or yellow.
Latrodectus black in color. The hourglass-shaped reddish spot is very obvious, you can also see the difference in size of the pairs of legs and the globular body.
Latrodectus brown in color. The orange hourglass spot is very obvious, you can also see the difference in size of the pair of legs and the darker colored stripes, as well as the globular body.

Finally, remember that although they are of medical importance, these spiders make an important ecological contribution to the habitats in which they live, and many species are endemic to certain sites, therefore the best recommendation in the presence of one is to move it to a remote location. For more information you can consult: What should I do if I find a violinist or a black widow in my home?

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