Overview

Distribution

endemic to a single state or province

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National Distribution

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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Global Range: (5000-20,000 square km (about 2000-8000 square miles)) Found only in sand pine scrub in central and southeastern Florida.

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Physical Description

Diagnostic Description

The unique color pattern makes this species instantly recognizable. Except for infrequent occurrences of the Southern Black Widow (L. MACTANS), which makes its web on the ground, this is the only LACTRODECTUS that occurs in sand pine srub habitats.

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Ecology

Habitat

Comments: Restricted to sand pine scrub; almost always makes its web in scrub palmettoes (SABAL ETONIA and SERENOA REPENS). The web is made by rolling a palmetto frond into a cone and tying it with silk.

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Migration

Non-Migrant: No. All populations of this species make significant seasonal migrations.

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.

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Population Biology

Number of Occurrences

Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.

Estimated Number of Occurrences: 6 - 300

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Global Abundance

Unknown

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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G2 - Imperiled

Reasons: Species is restricted to scrub in central and southeastern Florida, USA, with a known range of about 15,000-20,000 square km. Scrub habitat is rapidly disappearing due to development and may be degraded through mismanagement. Mark Deyrup found this spider to be relatively rare on the Lake Wales Ridge, which makes up a large portion of the total range. More information is needed before assigning this species a more definitive rank.

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Unknown

Environmental Specificity: Very narrow. Specialist or community with key requirements scarce.

Comments: Restricted to sand pine scrub; almost always makes its web in scrub palmettoes (Sabal etonia and Serenoa repens).

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Global Short Term Trend: Unknown

Global Long Term Trend: Unknown

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Threats

Comments: Habitat loss by development of sand pine scrub. Mismanagement of required habitat.

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Management

Global Protection: Several (4-12) occurrences appropriately protected and managed

Comments: Populations occur in the Ocala National Forest, Jonathan Dickinson State Park, Arbuckle State Forest and Archbold Biological Station.

Needs: Preserve scrub palmettos in sand pine scrub habitat in central and southeastern Florida, USA. Alert land managers to the presence of this species, especially for Ocala National Forest, Jonathan Dickinson State Park, Arbuckle State Forest and Archbold Biological Station.

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Wikipedia

Latrodectus bishopi

Latrodectus bishopi is the scientific name for the red widow spider which is endemic to certain habitats of Florida where it lives underneath palmetto leaves, primarily in sand pine scrub, a type of vegetation found only in peninsular Florida.

Description[edit]

The red widow, Latrodectus bishopi, has a red-orange cephalothorax, its abdomen is black with yellow rings outlining the rows of red spots and its legs are vermillion red. On its underside, it does not have the familiar hourglass marking, but a small red bar.

Venom

Latrodectus bishopi is believed to be venomous like the other Latrodectus members, though no bites by this spider are recorded in the medical literature; unlike cosmopolitan species such as the black and brown widows, it seldom comes into contact with humans. The LD-50 has been measured in mice as 2.20 mg/kg (with a confidence interval of 1.29-3.74), and each spider contains about 0.157 mg.[1]

Threatened species

Latrodectus bishopi, the red widow spider, is a threatened species in the United States.

References[edit]

  1. ^ McCrone, J.D. (1 December 1964). "Comparative lethality of several Latrodectus venoms". Toxicon 2 (3): 201–203. doi:10.1016/0041-0101(64)90023-6. 
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