Cobweb Spider  (five photos)
Genus Steatoda

steatoda cobweb spider
This quick, dark spider was hiding in a bucket I picked up outside in my yard in Taylorsville. My
 first inclination was to "scream and toss" because I thought it was a black widow, due to its shape and
instead, I took a closer look and saw that it was dark brown, and not black.  © Carol Davis 5-13-2015

cobweb spider
I don't usually find Steatoda spiders this large so I knew it wasn't the Steatoda triangulosa that I find
everywhere around my home guarding the windows and entrances. This one had no triangular pattern
on the back, but instead had some beautiful golden markings around the edges and on
the belly.
From the rear it had a beautiful golden tip, shown in one of the photos below. © Carol Davis 5-13-2015

brown cobweb spider
While I was watching her, this female cobweb spider was busy spinning her web inside the bucket
and had barely started when an earwig became her first prey. She neatly wrapped it up and
started spinning again.  Cobweb spiders are very industrious and their webs are messy - they
 don't have time to be neat - they have a job to do!  © Carol Davis 5-13-2015

brown widow-like spider
Next in her clutches was a little weevil, and I have loads of those around for her to feast on.  Notice the "V" pattern on
her belly, which might be a final clue to her exact species. I have submitted her photo to Bugguide for identification.
I have seen smaller versions of spiders like these and they work upside-down so it's hard to get a good dorsal shot.
She didn't care for me moving her bucket around and she was too much in the open for her liking, so she had gone
when I came out again for more shots.  © Carol Davis 5-13-2015

golden spinnerets
I like the gold spinnerets on this spider and I have to admit she has beautiful coloring. Cobweb spiders
 like dark places and they like buckets, which seem to be an ideal place to spin quick and effective
 webs, so it's always good to check out containers of any kind before you pick them up.  While they are
not as dangerous as Black Widows, who are in their same family, Steatoda species can give a nasty bite,
according to Wikipedia. They don't seem to be aggressive so I just leave them alone to do their thing and
generally try not to stick my bare hands in any corners or buckets in the shed before checking out the
 area. I don't have this same warm feeling for Black Widows, in case you're wondering.

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