For our opening image this week, we have a female southern black widow (Latrodectus mactans,) the first that I’d seen. It dates from 1991, and was found in a rock cleft on a trail that I frequented – getting her out was a challenge, because widows are shy and prefer concealment, and of course I was endeavoring not to get bitten. Credit to the species, though,
I had a post in draft form wherein I mentioned that I was keeping my eye on the egg case of the Chinese mantises (Tenodera aridifolia sinensis,) figuring it was due to erupt at any time. This morning, that post was ruined.
I was just about to head off to meet with a student when I took a last look at the egg case, and found it almost literally dripping with newborn mantids. I quickly got the camera
Yes, I have to do this:
This is actually the first specimen I’ve found this year, which was a slight frustration since there was a particular image that I wanted and couldn’t find a model. Just in case it wasn’t immediately apparent, this is a southern black widow, Latrodectus mactans, distinguished from the northern variant (we have both here) by the lack
I know this is a poor showing for National Wildlife Week, but hey, I think every week is National Wildlife Week, so chill. I been busy.
Anyway, in poking around today after staging a few shots for a presentation, I came across this little lovely, in a very typical place for such: on a rock, in a cranny sheltered by a clump of leaves. This is a southern black widow (Lactrodectus