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California 'newcomers' brown widow spiders and yellow starthistle in the news

Rangeland infested with yellow starthistle.

Invasive yellow starthistle aims to take over the world
Sacramento Bee, Sam McManis

Reporter Sam McManis likened yellow starthistle to an overexposed Hollywood star, presenting the bulk of the story as a mock interview with the invasive weed. An editor's note said the article was based on interviews with Joseph M. DiTomaso of the Weed Science Program at UC Davis and Wendy West, coordinator of the yellow starthistle Leading Edge Project for the UC Cooperative Extension. Additional information was provided by the California Invasive Plant Council and the University of California Integrated Pest Management Program.

Spider scientists creep up on elusive prey
Los Angeles Times, Nicole Santa Cruz

UC Riverside scientist Rick Vetter was the primary source for a Los Angeles Times story on brown widow spiders. The exotic spider is "spreading like wildfire" across Southern California, Vetter said. "It's not that big of a deal, but people see the word 'widow' in a name and freak out completely."

Rick Vetter explains brown widow spider identification in the ANR video below:

Attached Files
Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 9:07 AM


Great video, very informative.

Posted by Anne E. Schellman on August 25, 2011 at 8:14 PM

Of course, people should really freak out since brown widow spiders are more dangerous than the black ones. When one look at the actual danger imposed by Brown Widow Spiders, the Brown Widow seems more dangerous than all the Black Widow Spiders - at least among the North American species. Source:

Posted by Michael on January 18, 2012 at 4:21 PM

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