The black widow is a species of spider that is known for the females’ unique appearance and venomous bite. It has a shiny black body with red markings, and its venom is reported to be 15 times stronger than a rattlesnake's.
Black widows are highly poisonous; fortunately, they bite humans only when disturbed. Contrary to popular belief, most victims do not suffer serious damage. The black widow bite can occasionally be fatal, however, with small children, the elderly, or the physically infirm at the highest risk. If bitten, one should seek emergency medical attention immediately.
Wolf spiders are often confused with the brown recluse, but they lack the unmistakable violin-shaped marking behind the head. They are common household pests in the fall when they are looking for a warm place to stay during winter. They are commonly found around doors, windows, house plants, basements, garages, and in almost all terrestrial habitats. They do not spin a web but roam at night to hunt for food. The wolf spider is shy and seeks to run away when disturbed.
Wolf spiders are aptly named because of their hunting method-stalk, ambush, pounce, and capture prey. This is in contrast to other spiders whom use webs to capture prey. Wolf spiders have an easily identified eye pattern compared to other spiders (see links on right).
The genus Hogna Giant wolf spiders (1.5"-2" diameter) are commonly encountered in fall in Utah. Like other wolf spiders, they are not of medical concern, even though they do bite.
Camel Spider or Wind Scorpion
Camel spiders are common in southern Utah. These fast (up to 10 mph), nocturnal hunters do not have venom glands so they pose no serious threat to humans, however can give a painful bite. In Utah the common size is about 1.5 – 2 inches.