OK, I caught the little ***. Its amazing how observations can be off....
The red triangle is not on the abdomen after all...it is the sternum. The
entire spider is dark black/brown (except for the red 'superman logo-shaped'
sternum), with a slightly elongate abdomen. It is not shiny, but does not
appear to be covered with hair either. It measures 2.25 cm from the fang to
the tip of the tail, and 6.5 cm from the tips of the front and back legs as
The markings on the abdomen are yellow. The top (dorsal) side of the abdomen
is black, smooth and with no markings. The lung cover is yellow, and there
are three thin diagonal yellow stripes down the side of the abdomen
terminating in four large yellow spots on the bottom of the abdomen. The
overall shape of the abdomen is a bit more football shaped than the round
body of a Black Widow. All in all, the body looks a lot like a very
oversized wasp, but that might be because of the effect of the yellow
markings. The abdomen is definately more rounded than a wasp abdomen,
The legs are long and thin, with the tarsus being much thinner than the
tibia and upper leg. There is a slight red hue on the tarsus, however it is
The spinnerets are not very pronounced, if they even exist, and the spiricle
is not at the very tip of the abdomen, but is under the ventral tail. I
believe there is only one pair of lungs.
The web it weaves is very orderly, like a garden spider, and it constructs a
tube at one edge of the web (the web is under and eave, the tube is inside
the eave). The tube is very strong, about 10 cm long and 3 cm wide at the
end. The spider is mostly nocturnal, and hangs out in the tube during the
day. The web was about 1 meter across, and very strong.
Except for the color of the markings (yellow, not white), it looks the world
like the sketch of a l. variolus I have here. The locals say it is not
poisonous, but it sure gives me the heebiejeebies.
(I feel bad for the little guy in the jar here, I'm going to let him go)