I’m in Florida and my 5 year old spotted a spider on an old watering pale toy. It looks like a widow in shape and color, and has red spots down it’s back. Most black widows here don’t have anything on their backs, so I took to the web to try and be safe, and found that the Northern variant has spots, but all the pictures I found have the spots blended towards the back end and they don’t seem to have the outline around the spots like this spider.

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  • $\begingroup$ Also, I didn’t flip it over to check for the typical hourglass on the abdomen as I didn’t feel confident that I could do so without harming the spider or potentially myself. $\endgroup$ Nov 25, 2021 at 17:27
  • $\begingroup$ A jar would have be handy. Honestly, if a black widow can have a grey velvety abdomen with no red spots? I'd wager 200 it isn't. $\endgroup$ Nov 26, 2021 at 17:05
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Your spider has red circles outlined in white (it is visible if you zoom in). This, indeed, looks like a dusty Latrodectus variolus $\endgroup$
    – JimN
    Nov 28, 2021 at 19:36
  • $\begingroup$ @LifeInTheTrees it was covered in dirt so that would explain the velvety grey color, and the red spots are surely there, you'll need to view the full image and zoom in a bit, apologies for the poor quality. Also, didn't have a jar available. $\endgroup$ Nov 29, 2021 at 15:38
  • $\begingroup$ @JimN just glad my 5 year old didn't disturb it enough to cause any issues! Thanks for the help! $\endgroup$ Nov 29, 2021 at 15:39

1 Answer 1


Yes it appears to be a male Norther black widow covered in dust. Here's an image using different color balance:

enter image description here

These species of black widow are found in Florida: Latrodectus mactans (Southern black widow), Latrodectus geometricus (brown widow), Latrodectus bishopi (red widow), and Latrodectus variolus (Northern black widow) (Edwards 2002).


Only the bites of the females are dangerous to humans. Despite their notoriety, Latrodectus bites rarely cause death or produce serious complications.(wiki)

male https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cd/Black_widow_post_dorsal_1370.jpg

female: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a5/Latrodectus_variolus_%28Northern_Black_Widow%29%2C_F_Theridiidae.jpg/580px-Latrodectus_variolus_%28Northern_Black_Widow%29%2C_F_Theridiidae.jpg


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