Exotic Spider Discovered in Ventura County

We recently reported on the Brown Widow Spider – something unusual, but not dramatic. Today,  there IS something dramatic…

ExoticSpiderFoundinVenturaCounty 300x217 Exotic Spider Discovered in Ventura CountyDuring his recent trip to Ventura County to work on tracking the movement of the Brown Widow spider, Latrodectus geometricus, UCR entomologist, Rick Vetter discovered a spider never before reported in this hemisphere.

Rick is asking the Ventura County residents to help him collect more specimens for a paper he is currently writing on this find.  He expects that these specimens may well end up in either the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco or the American Museum of Natural History in New York because of the importance of this discovery.  Your work will become a part of entomological history!

Please refer to the image of the spider to help you identify any possible finds. Rick has noted, “The spider is chocolate brown in color and some females lose A LOT of the light marking on the abdomen.

Toward this end, Rick is asking Ventura County residents willing to help him, to please:

Have a few amber prescription containers on hand.

Search in your yard for this new spider:

  • under plastic patio furniture
  • in the indentations under garbage cans
  • under potted plants that are raised off the ground
  • under picnic tables

If you suspect that you have found the spider, use a stick to carefully maneuver the spider into the amber prescription container.

Please place a piece of paper towel in the container so the spider has something to hold onto during transport but also enough space to move around some; perhaps a piece that doesn’t exceed 1/3-1/2 of the size of the container.

Please mark each specimen container with the following:

  • Date and yard location of find
  • Complete house address of find
  • Your name and phone number

Please mail your live spider within one week or so of its collection, keeping it out of the heat in the meantime.  A padded envelope would be helpful.

Please send your specimens to:

Rick Vetter
Univ. of California, Riverside
Riverside, CA. 92521

One further note from Rick:  “the mature female is as large as a black widow and therefore, is large enough to inflict a bite; however, the effects of the bite are minor.”


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