widow1

Widow spider and harvester ants. Hallelujah Junction, California

This young black widow (Latrodectus hesperus) set up shop above the nest entrance of a colony of Pogonomyrmex harvester ants.  It’s an all-you-can-eat buffet, allowing the spider nearly unlimited pickings as the ants come and go.

The spider’s mottled coloration is typical of young widows; they don’t acquire the striking black and red warning garb until maturity.

photo details: Canon 100mm f2.8 macro lens on a Canon EOS D60
ISO 100, 1/200 sec, f/11, MT-24EX twin flash