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African 'Brown Widow' Spider Found in Oregon

The invasive species is native to Africa but has been found previously in Florida, California and the Gulf States. Now it has apparently shown up in Oregon.

Posted: Oct 5, 2018 4:09 PM
Updated: Oct 5, 2018 4:10 PM

SALEM, Ore. — While the black widow spider is no stranger to Oregon, state officials now say that its African cousin — the brown widow — has made its first appearance in the state, according to the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA).

At least one specimen was discovered at a property in Oregon City during September of this year. It was previously unknown in Oregon, but has made appearances in California, Florida and the Gulf States.

Officials do not yet know how the spiders arrived in this area.

The brown widow looks similar to a black widow, but is lighter in color and has an orange hourglass-shaped marking on the underside of its body that is somewhat different from the scarlet markings on the black widow. The spider also lays spiny-looking egg sacs in "dark corners and other sheltered area," according to ODA.

Although the brown widow packs venom that is very similar to that of the black widow in potency, ODA says that bites are "potentially medically significant.

ODA says that it is trying to determine whether the brown widow has established itself "out of doors" in Oregon. If you believe you have found a brown widow, ODA asks that you take images and notify them at plant-entomologists@oda.state.or.us or 503-986-4636.

"Remember!" ODA said in a Facebook post, "Most spiders you're seeing outdoors are cross spiders with big webs. The brown widow likes hidden, dark spaces. Check carefully before sending in photos of suspected brown widows."

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 155315

Reported Deaths: 2208
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah31853528
Washington21170212
Marion18416285
Clackamas13357175
Lane10224126
Jackson8377112
Umatilla765182
Deschutes594659
Yamhill377364
Linn358656
Malheur335058
Polk305342
Klamath278955
Douglas246354
Josephine233750
Benton233516
Jefferson195528
Coos148219
Union128419
Columbia126121
Wasco122126
Lincoln113120
Hood River106829
Morrow104714
Clatsop7756
Crook77518
Baker6567
Curry4266
Tillamook4142
Lake3756
Harney2736
Grant2221
Wallowa1424
Gilliam531
Sherman530
Wheeler221
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California Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 3563578

Reported Deaths: 51953
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles119089421328
Riverside2894503767
San Bernardino2862912816
Orange2610223904
San Diego2596413271
Santa Clara1104221777
Kern102627826
Fresno952021443
Sacramento931801472
Alameda804961241
Ventura77534844
San Joaquin665691101
Contra Costa62164674
Stanislaus56024946
Tulare47784758
Monterey42138328
San Mateo38922515
San Francisco34213410
Santa Barbara31763409
Solano30024164
Merced28915397
Sonoma28063298
Imperial26888591
Kings21951218
Placer19763232
San Luis Obispo19612227
Madera15436209
Santa Cruz14588183
Marin13136197
Yolo12816185
Shasta10972174
Butte10941160
El Dorado9095100
Napa901469
Sutter884597
San Benito575959
Yuba573336
Lassen560119
Tehama508152
Nevada395274
Tuolumne394659
Mendocino379643
Amador345741
Humboldt318033
Lake315341
Glenn222023
Colusa212813
Calaveras190547
Siskiyou174014
Inyo128737
Mono12114
Del Norte9875
Plumas6536
Modoc4524
Mariposa3957
Trinity3675
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Alpine810
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