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Brown widow v. black widow: Listener says our interview didn't make Spidey sense

by John Rabe | Off-Ramp®

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The poisonous black widow spider, under pressure in SoCal from the brown widow, which hails from Florida. Rick Vetter

Last week, I ran an interview with Rick Vetter, a spider expert at UC Riverside, who told us how the brown widow spider, an invasive species, is pushing the native black widow spider out of Southern California's urban areas.

Listener Dennis McCoy called to complain. You never asked about the webs of the two spiders, he said. Are they different? Is the brown widow's web as sticky as the black widow's?

True enough. I didn't ask and I should have. After all, a web is to a spider like a muffin recipe is to Susan Stamberg. So, we put the question to Rick Vetter and he said ...

Well, listen to the audio to hear Mr. McCoy's question and Vetter's answer. 

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