Black Widow Spider

Black Widow Spider tops the list of venous spiders of America. Their bite can easily kill a kid as it is 15times more powerful than venom of rattle snake. Their venom can create serious problems like muscle aches, nausea and paralysis even in adults also. They are not that much aggressive and only bite humans as a self-defense measure. They are easily found in the South Eastern region of America and one must be careful while dealing with them.

Facts :


According to researchers, these spiders are living in America from long back. Though there is no unanimous opinion in researchers also, most of them believe that they are more than ten thousand years old. Some researchers are in the opinion that the evolution process of these spiders dates back to millions ofyears. Though they are venomous, the number of deaths because of this spider bite is very less in USA. Other interesting facts can be seen below.

  • Female spiders are stronger than male spiders.
  • There is a popular belief that female spider wants to kill male spider after mating. It is wrong.
  • Male spider gets trapped after mating and the female spider have no other option but to suck the juices from it.
  • Though most of the times female spider eats male spiders after mating, if the meal spider is quick, itcan get away quickly after forming thin sperm layer. However this occurs in rarest of the rare occasions.
  • The web of the black widow spider is sostrong that even micecan’t escape from it.
  • The needle like structure which is used to inject venom is just 1mm thick.
  • The anti-venom to this spider bite was introduced in 1920’s only.
  • The attacking nature of black widow spiders is a bit different. Once the prey falls into its web, it will make the web stronger by wrapping more. Then it slowly reaches the prey and attacks it with venom. Based on the size of the prey, the venom will start its effect but the maximum limit is ten minutes. Once the prey becomes immobile, the spider approaches the prey and releases digestive enzymes into it. This will make the prey ready to eat.

Diet :

Black widow spiders mainly fed on insects. They puncture their prey and extract proteins and other vital nutrients that are needed to them.


Habitat :

This spider is mainly found in North America. Habitants of this region live with fear of this insect. Because of this, they are supposed to be know how to treat and deal with the bite.

Behaviour :


They are not very aggressive. They use their bite in the rarest of the rare occasions. There is no need to take special care other than locking it in the jar with air and light ventilation. Make sure that it is fed properly.

Lifestyle :

They are not suitable as pets because of venomous nature. Though some people in USA lock them in glass jars and occasionally feed them, it is not a good practice as a small miscalculation will lead them to emergency room.Keep it in a secured jar and it always move along the walls of the jar to come out and that exercise is more than sufficient for it.

Lifecycle :

Black spiders usually lay 100-300 eggs and in some cases, female spiders will lay up to 400 eggs. Even though the percentage of successfully hatched eggs is high, more than thirty spiders won’t survive because of different reasons like lack of food, climatic conditions, cannibalism etc.

Predators :

The black widow spider had a red unattractive bottom that warns predators that if they it, things will not go well. Mostly birds eat it and get agitated especially with a stomach ache. Another predator and the main one is the praying mantis.

Breeding :

Black female spiders can lay up to 500 eggs. Once they hatch, they live at their mothers for a little while. After this, they get their way to start fending for themselves.

Appearance :

The male spider is black in color and their appearance is very much similar to juvenile black spiders. Female spiders are big in size and the red color hour glass marking makes it easy to recognize. Egg carrying (gravid) females are easy to recognize because of bigger abdominal size. Female spiders are bigger than male spiders but the size of them are in the comparable range with the paper clips.

Female spiders are longer measuring 1.5 in (38 mm) long when compared to male spiders which are 0.75 cm (< 0.25 in) long. The diameter of the female spider will be in the range of 0.25 inches and the abdominal area becomes double in size if it is carrying eggs. The outer coat of the mature spiders is black in color. White stripes can be observed in juvenile spiders and orange/yellow color dots can also be seen in them. Fangs and comb foot are distinct features of black widow spiders. The short hairs present on the last pair of legs exactly looks like comb and that’s the reason why they are also known as comb-footed spiders.

Life Span :

The female lives for about 3 years. The male die after mating by the female. They leave the female to keep on living and laying eggs.

Health Issues :

Till now, researchersconcentrated on the uses of venom extracted from this spider. They are now keen on the observing the life style and activities of spiders and they are also in the process of finding out the diseases occur to them.

Grooming :

Female spiders look extremely beautiful with red colored hour glass structure on them. There is no need to specially groom them and it is highly impossible to change their look.

Shedding :

Shedding doesn’t apply to the black widow spider. They have a hard shell. This shell is quite distinct as compared to other spiders.

Images, Pics, Photos and Pictures of Black Widow Spider :

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Black Widow Spider Information :

  1. Its full name is Black Widow Spider.
  2. It is scientifically knows as L. mactans, L. hesperus and L. variolus.
  3. It originally belongs to United States.
  4. They are relatively small and their size is comparable to paper clip.
  5. They belong to Latrodectus group of spiders.
  6. Female spider kills male spider after mating and the life span of female spiders is 3 years.
  7. They are highly venomous.
  8. Female spiders are one and half inch long and more than 0.25 in diameter.
  9. Male spiders are shorter and their whole body is less than 0.75cms long.
  10. Their weight will be in the range of 1-10 grams.
  11. They are general seen in black color.
  12. They are relatively cheap (less than $20 USD) as they can be easily found in most parts of Northern America.