This video is short (1 min) and has great photos of what the spider looks like compared to a black widow spider. The brown widow is from Africa, and has been in Southern California for many years. It has only recently been spotted in the Central Valley.
Scientists have discovered that brown widow spiders prefer dark crevices. Their venom is more potent than that of a black widow, but the species is less aggressive. As a result, Vetter (scientist in the video) says its bite seems to carry a smaller dose of venom and pales next to the sometimes sweat-inducing pain inflicted by a black widow.
Vetter is an interesting character, “People get all worked up. Just because it’s a spider, people freak out. I find it fascinating that people outweigh a spider by a 100,000 times and … are paralyzed by it.”
But somebody has to be an arachnologist, right? I for one am glad Vetter is out studying these 8 legged friends. (no, not freaks!) 🙂