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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Can't find photo of this strange spider


Wish I had a camera but found an interesting red fluorescent spider with legs red black and yellow like a black widows legs but the body was much bigger very aggressive pose.  It was on a greenway trail. Never have seen this coloring. Beautiful.  Any idea what it might be? About 1 1/2 possibly. Larger than many of the large black widows I find around here.

Hi Michelle,

A large spider that was very colorful and had that widow-like shape... My guess is it was some type of garden spider. Without a photo, I can't help much, but it sounds to me like a garden spider. They look less hairy than other types of spiders. They are harmless and sometimes very pretty.

Did it have dimples on its back? If so, it could also have been a crab spider.


Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Jessica Mellinger


I can answer questions about invertebrates native to California, including insects commonly found in homes. If you have an identification request, please attach a photo to your question.


I was involved in collection and identification of invertebrates for the United States Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division for six years. Also, I provided these same services intermittently for the UC Davis John Muir Institute of the Environment for many years. I have been a member of since 2009.

Department of the Interior: United States Geological Survey, Davis Field Station; University of California, Davis Aggie Alumni Association; UC Davis Center for Neuroscience; U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs

I have two B.A.'s from the University of California, Davis and two Associate's degrees from Sacramento City College.

Awards and Honors
Special Thanks for Achieving Results award from the Department of the Interior

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