This is a black widow spider. Note the red "hour glass" on the abdomen. The bite of the black widow can produce severe symptoms but is seldom fatal, except in young children and older adults. (Image courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)
Update Date 10/4/2009
Updated by: Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.