Black widow spider

Black widow spider

The genus Latrodectus hosts as much as 31 species of which is the famous Latrodectus mactuns or the commonly called Black widow spider. The species is inhibitors of North America, Canada and Mexican regions. The females of the species are distinctively black and red in colouration and display a characteristic feature of feeding on the males after mating which is the reason behind their naming. The spiders are cannibalistic and primarily feed on woodlice, diplopods, chilopods and other arachnids. When the prey is trapped in the web, it is tinged with the venom after which the movement takes around ten minutes to cease. The digestion is done externally through the release of digestive juices.

Reproduction in the widow spiders takes place sexually when the male inserts the palpus in to the female spermathecal openings. Out of the hundred eggs not more than thirty survive due to lack of food, shelter or cannibalism. Their venom is highly toxic and is said to cause death on biting. The males of the species being much smaller have less potent venom. And the venom is dangerous to the extent that it causes fatalities even before diagnosis.

Poisonous spiders

Arachnology describes a large number of species which are fatal to human existence. The bite of spiders causes a wide array of harmful effects from absolutely no problem to deaths. Though all species have a considerable amount of venom, the fatality is attributed to the potent toxicity. A few species include Brown recluse, Black widow, Yellow or Sac gold, Hobo spider, Red legged spider. It is highly recommended that in case of a sting first aid is done with alcohol and ice and a doctor is consulted for further assistance.

picture credits:
© M Hedin „Latrodectus variolus (Northern Black Widow), F Theridiidae“
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