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Black Widow Spider

Black Widow Spider

 

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Physical Appearance

The Female Black Widow has a shiny black body with a red hourglass marking on her abdomen.
The Male Black Widow has a shiny black body with red and yellow bands on his back. He is half the size of a female, with legs twice as long.

Feeding Habits

The Female Black Widow will not travel far from her web. She suspends upside down all day.
The Black Widow’s web looks like a woven silken tunnel; helping it to capture its prey.
Once its victim is captured, the Black Widow then raps its prey with the silk web utilizing its legs prior to injecting venom that is 10 times as potent as that of a snake. After it is done feeding, it will cut the carcass loose, dropping it to the ground.


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Life Cycle

In one season, a Black Widow can produce 9 egg sacs, each containing ninety to five hundred eggs. The eggs can hatch within thirty days.
Less than one-third of nymphs (baby spiders) survive because of cannibalism.
Nymphs take up to, but not less than 6 months to reach adulthood.
The Black Widow can live up to 5 years. The Male Black Widow has a much shorter life span. The female only needs to mate one time in her life to start producing babies.
Shortly after emerging from the sac, a nymph goes through what is called an “in-star”, ballooning to the ground and scattering.

Behavior

The Black Widow is mostly found in southwestern states.
After mating with the male, it is common for the female to digest her partner.
Places you can find black widow activity include wood piles, large areas of debris, boxes, eaves, storage facilities or garages.

Damage

A Black Widow spider bite contains venom that can cause serious symptoms such as sweating, swollen eye lids and body aches evident mostly in the legs.
A Black Widow bite may not offer symptoms immediately following spider bite.
The affected area will appear swollen and may contain two tiny red spots in the center of the bite.