Entomology (Study of Bugs)/unidentified spider

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Question
blue spider
blue spider  
When demolishing my shed I came across.A spider fingernail size.black & hairy,when touched the back of the spider slowly turned blue.Appreciate I.D.Regards Malcolm
P.s sorry attached picture not brilliant.

Answer
Dear Malcolm - False widow spiders in the genus Steatoda commonly are found in situations such as you describe, but these usually appear quite shiny rather than hairy - see http://tinyurl.com/kwpnoua and http://tinyurl.com/mnbbhb5 for examples. It also could be an orb weaver of some type, but your image is not clear enough for me to be certain either way. I suggest that you look at images on these sites (http://tinyurl.com/c8r8e and http://tinyurl.com/kqo3pr7) to see if anything else comes close.

Hope this helps,
Saugy

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Ed Saugstad

Expertise

Will accept most questions in general entomology, including those related to medical entomology, taxonomy, ecology, arthropod surveillance, and pest management. If you are requesting a 'mystery bug' identification, PLEASE either attach an image to your question, or post an image on a web page (such as Flickr) so that I can look at it, as verbal descriptions frequently are insufficient for a definitive identification.

Experience

21 years in the U.S. Army as a medical entomologist; duties varied from surveillance of pest populations (including mosquitoes, cockroaches, ticks, and stored products pests) to conducting research on mosquito-virus ecological relationships and mosquito faunal studies. Ten years as a civilian analyst for the Department of Defense, primarily on distribution of vector-borne diseases worldwide. Limited experience on surveillance of agricultural insects in North Dakota and Indiana.

Organizations
Entomological Society of America, West Virginia Entomological Society, Society for Vector Ecology, National Speleological Society, West Virginia Association for Cave Studies.

Publications
American Journal of Public Health, Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology, Journal of Economic Entomology, Mosquito News, and Mosquito Systematics.

Education/Credentials
B.S. in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1963, M.S. in entomology from Purdue University in 1967.

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