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Old Oct 4, 2006, 10:33 AM   #1
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Nakor Allthumbs
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Default brown widow spider moves into gulf coast

As if the West Nile-toting mosquito isn't enough to worry Mississippians, add the poisonous Latrodectus geometricus to the state's list of creepy-crawly creatures.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061003/...sc/brown_widow

Dr. Jerome Goddard, entomologist with the Mississippi Department of Health, said the poisonous Brown Widow spider that is a cousin to the well-known Black Widow, is now calling the Mississippi Gulf Coast home.

"The tropical Brown Widow spider .... has recently been captured in many locations along the Mississippi Gulf Coast," Goddard said in a news release Tuesday.

He said his office has been receiving many phone calls reporting buildings and grounds heavily infested with this type of spider.

"This spider is in the same family as the Black Widow, and is poisonous to humans," Goddard said. "I first heard of a collection of this spider at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi in early 2005 and figured it was probably just an isolated incident."

The Health Department said the Brown Widow can grow to 1 1/2 inches long. It is brown or grayish-brown instead of black and has an orange-to-yellow hourglass design on its underside, as opposed to the familiar red hourglass design on the Black Widow.

"That's a dead giveaway," Goddard said. "When the hourglass design is yellowish or orange, instead of deep red, you know it is a Brown Widow."

He said there is a positive note — the Brown Widow is not as aggressive as the Black Widow. And although some scientific reports claim the Brown Widow is twice as poisonous, Goddard said that was doubtful.

"One very good medical review of 45 cases of Black Widow and Brown Widow bites showed that the symptoms of Brown Widow bites were mild and tended to be restricted to the bite site and surrounding tissues (not the case with black widows)," Dr. Goddard said. "Brown Widows will not attack if they are not bothered or made to feel threatened."

Most spiders in Mississippi are unable to puncture human skin, and if they do, their venom is not generally harmful to humans. There are three main spider species in Mississippi that health officials worry about — the Black Widow, Brown Recluse and now the Brown Widow.

Goddard said he was unaware of the new species existing anywhere else in Mississippi.

"I've gone down to the Gulf Coast several times and looked for myself," he said. "They are, indeed, in many places."

He said the spider probably made its way to Mississippi from Florida through commercial imports of plants, food, building materials, or furniture.

http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/2...i7fmeg1_.k_g--
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Old Oct 4, 2006, 03:51 PM   #2
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Very interesting. I did not know that there was a Brown Widow spider in addition to a Black Widow.

Very informative. Thanks for posting that.

Last edited by Android1 : Oct 4, 2006 at 03:54 PM.
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Old Oct 4, 2006, 04:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Android1 View Post
Very interesting. I did not know that there was a Brown Widow spider in addition to a Black Widow.

Very informative. Thanks for posting that.


I wonder how long until Mayor Nagin complains there was NO white widows
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Old Oct 4, 2006, 04:14 PM   #4
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ugh i hate spiders
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Old Oct 4, 2006, 05:48 PM   #5
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Interesting. Hmm I live in MIssissippi

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Old Oct 4, 2006, 08:44 PM   #6
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We have redbacks and whitebacks here in Australia...
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Old Oct 4, 2006, 08:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OzzieBloke View Post
We have redbacks and whitebacks here in Australia...
black widows as well.
we've got lots of friendly bugs in aus
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Old Oct 4, 2006, 08:57 PM   #8
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Doesn't surprise me there's a brown widow. I'm just waiting for an albino widow Last summer when I was rolling the barrels to the street at dusk, I saw what appeard from standing position a fairly grown black widow running across the driveway. I looked closer and its abdomen had a funny white stripe that looked like a tiny tiretrack across the top of it and I used a leaf to flip it over and it actually had a nice fat red hourglass.
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Old Oct 4, 2006, 09:12 PM   #9
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The south will rise again! Woo Hoo! This time we'll enlist armies of brown and black widows as well as Katrina victims to defeat the north led by the evil George Bush!

Lol j/k! I don't live down here by choice.
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Old Oct 4, 2006, 09:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squid View Post
black widows as well.
we've got lots of friendly bugs in aus
I wish I could find the Scared Weird Little Guys song about dangerous Australian animals. I can only remember the first line of, "Red Back, Funnel Web, Blue ringed octopus..."
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Old Oct 5, 2006, 12:09 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OzzieBloke View Post
I wish I could find the Scared Weird Little Guys song about dangerous Australian animals. I can only remember the first line of, "Red Back, Funnel Web, Blue ringed octopus..."


Redback, Funnel-Web, Blue-ringed octopus
Taipan, Tigersnake and a Box jellyfish
Stonefish and the poison thing that lives in a shell
That spikes you when you pick it up

Come to Australia
You might accidentally get killed

Your life's constantly under threat
Have you been bitten yet?
You've only got three minutes left
Before a massive coronary breakdown

Redback, Funnel-Web, Blue-ringed octopus
Tiapan, Tigersnake and a Box jellyfish
Big shark just waiting for you to go swimming
At Bondi Beach

Come to Australia
You might accidentally get killed
Your blood is bound to be spilled
With fear your pants will be filled
Because you might accidentally get killed
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Old Oct 5, 2006, 01:59 PM   #12
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Ugh. That's what shotguns and flamethrowers were invented for.


Quote:
Originally Posted by eatyour1337ies View Post
Doesn't surprise me there's a brown widow. I'm just waiting for an albino widow Last summer when I was rolling the barrels to the street at dusk, I saw what appeard from standing position a fairly grown black widow running across the driveway. I looked closer and its abdomen had a funny white stripe that looked like a tiny tiretrack across the top of it and I used a leaf to flip it over and it actually had a nice fat red hourglass.
Sounds like an immature black widow. There are a lot of black widows where I come from. I have a visceral disgust for these little hell-spawn so I avoid them as much as possible, but I do remember seeing lighter-colored, smaller widows with non-uniform coloration.

Or it's actually a new breed of widows that are immune to everything but Kryptonite. Did you happen to notice a little "S" in the middle of that hourglass...?

Last edited by jimmyboy : Oct 5, 2006 at 02:02 PM.
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Old Oct 5, 2006, 02:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elysian View Post
ugh i hate spiders
You and me both man.

Just glad there wasn't pics...cause reading that gave me chills....yuk yuk yuk!!
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Old Oct 5, 2006, 02:54 PM   #14
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I like spiders.
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Old Oct 5, 2006, 02:54 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uber_Tiny View Post
Just glad there wasn't pics...cause reading that gave me chills....yuk yuk yuk!!



Problem solved.

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