The Gottlieb Native Garden

a california love story

The Gottlieb Native Garden is a flourishing ecosystem belonging to Susan and Dan Gottlieb, friends of flora and fauna and devoted environmental philanthropists. With more than 100 hand-selected plant species and hundreds of animal species, the backyard is a National Wildlife Federation-certified Backyard Wildlife Habitat and a Xerces Society-designated Pollinator Habitat.

A Brown Widow Invasion

An alien arachnid has taken hold in the GNG - the cosmopolitan Brown Widow Spider.  Although there is some debate about where it originated, most believe it came from South Africa. The first documentation of this spider in California occurred in 2003 and since then, Brown Widow numbers have exploded. For reasons unknown they out compete native Black Widow Spiders and now probably out-number them in our region.  Brown Widows are still mostly being found in urbanized areas (like the GNG), so there is a chance our native widow will survive this offensive.

Even though Brown Widows are less aggressive than Black Widows and are less apt to bite people, we should not be pleased with this displacement. Whenever an alien species takes hold it can be recipe for disaster.

Brown Widow Spider ♀