Male Black Widow Spider, Latrodectus, commonly known as Black Widow Spider is the most deadly spider found in temperate regions all over the world. The black widow belongs to a group of spiders commonly known as cobweb spiders.
It is very common to find these black widow spiders in dark and dry areas of United States, Australia, and South of Europe, Asia, and Africa.
In the US, you can find at least one species of Black Widow Spider in every state, except Alaska. However, dangerous weather conditions such as excessive cold or drought may lead these black spiders towards residential colonies.
Male Black Widow Spider – About Body Structures
Almost all species of black widow spider have the same body structure. Mouthparts of both- northern and western black widow spider are chelicerae and fangs, which are perpendicular to its body line.
Mouth and jaws are on the underside of the head of these spiders. They all have eight eyes and eight long, narrow legs. They lay eggs in clusters and have an egg sac made up of silk.
Differentiating in between male and female black widow spider is easy. Female ones have red hourglass body-shape with a dark shine of size approximately 1.5 inches.
Whereas, Male Black Widow Spider has a flat body with pink or red spots all over them and is half of the size of female spiders. Also, that red color in female black widow spiders may also be orangish-yellow, depending upon various external factors.
These carnivores’ spiders weigh about 0.035 oz. He’s lived for about 1-3 years. Male Black Widow Spider, on general are quite calm and non-attacking as they like to stay hidden in their web, they only bite in their defense. Do note that only
Do note that only female black widow spider is venomous, male widow spiders do not bite. Their web is also ill-woven as they are rough and sticky, though the silk is stronger as compared to that of other arachnids.
Male Black Widow Spider – Life Cycle And Hunting
Black widow spider made from springs to early or mid-summers. They are known for their mating style as many times female black widow spider kills and eats her partner male black widow spider so as to provide nutrition to self, which is important to get the eggs fertilized. It is stated that many times
It is said that many times female black widow spider puts her eggs in the dead male spider and protect them until the time they hatch. Eggs of these black spiders have a texture of the paper and are of 6-7mm in radius.
They are roughly oval spherical in shape, and from each sac hundreds of spiderlings take birth. But only a few of them can survive because black widow spiders are anthropophagical in nature in the early stage of their lives and consume fellow spiderlings for the sake of nutrition.
Male Black Widow Spider V/S Female Black Widow Spider
Young black widow spider or spiderlings are usually white or off-white and gradually get more varying shades of red and black. In addition to that, they do not harm human beings.
Within some days of hatching, these young spiders go through the process of ballooning. Ballooning is the process in which
Ballooning is the process in which black widow spider release silk into the air and this way they are carried to different locations via air.
After this, these black widow spiders weave their nests and start hunting food for themselves. Just like most of the spiders, the black widow spiders too, eat insects that get themselves caught in the nest.
Black widow spiders do eat flies, mosquitoes, small insects, and caterpillars. Female black widow spider waits for the prey while hanging upside down from her nest.
In this position, the female widow spider gives a warning to predators that she is a harmful organism and intent to keep them away from her nest. But as reported by The Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, this technique of
But as reported by The Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, this method of black widow spider does not work a lot because of the difference in between colour-perceiving capacities of birds and insects.
As the prey is trapped in the nest, black widow spider wraps it in silk using their ‘comb feet.’ After that, these black widow spiders lock the prey and liquefy the body of prey using special enzymes to suck the fluid out of it.
Black Widow Spider – Bite, Precaution, And Cure
The venom of black widow spiders is said to be 15 times stronger than that of a rattlesnake. It means black widow spiders are highly poisonous.
But, as mentioned earlier, only female widow spiders bite is considered as a threat to human health. The venom of the black widow spider is a neurotoxin, and it alters the structure and function of nerve terminals.However, do not produce any significant local reaction.
In starting black widow spider’s venom gives a sensation of a pinprick and notch and then starts spreading all over victim’s body.
But as a matter of fact, the bites of black widow spider is not reported to be life-threatening. From last ten years the US, no one has died because of widow spider’s venomous bite.
For most of the victims, black widow’s bite results into issues like nausea, sweating, severe body pain, Eyelid swelling, Dizziness, Sore muscles, high blood pressure, difficulty in breathing and paralysis of the diaphragm.
You can easily recognize black widow spiders bite if the victim has above symptoms. With proper medications and black widow antivenom, pain can be cured in 8-12 hours.
But, other effects of black widow’s venom in the body can last for several days. However, sometimes Black widow spiders bite results in significant issues for people with little immune power- infants, aged or weak.
As first aid measure, the bite location should be washed with soap and water. After that ice- pack should be placed over it.
Northern And Western Black Widow Spider
The Northern Black Widow Spider, scientifically named as Latrodectus variolous can be found everywhere in the eastern US from southern Canada south to Florida, and west to east Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas.
Northern black widow Spider is a more common sight in Michigan than in western Lower Peninsula. On the other hand, Western Black widow spiders live in western areas of North America. From Mexico to southwestern Canada (British Columbia and Saskatchewan), and the United States (Arizona, Texas, and California).
Due to the mere presence of western black widow spiders in the US,.Araneophobia, or an irrational fear of spiders, is common among people in the United States.
Also, female western black widow spiders are found to be less likely to eat their male partners after mating. In addition to that,
In addition to that, male western black widow spiders choose their mating partner by determining if the female spider has already eaten or not. They ensure this by sensing enzymes in the nest of a black female widow.
There are five species of western black widow spiders in North America, north of Mexico.
- Latrodectus Hesperus, Western black widow spider ( western Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas north to Canada and west to the Pacific Coast States)
- The Latrodectus mactans (Southern New England to Florida west to eastern Oklahoma, Texas, and Kansas)
- Red-legged widow (southern Florida), Latrodectus bishops
- The Latrodectus geometrics, Brown widow (cosmopolitan)
- Latrodectus variolous, (New England and Canada south to Florida and west to eastern Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas)