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The Black Widow (Latrodectus hesperus )

Also known as the Western Willow, this small black spider is generally known to be one of the most poisonous spiders in existence. What more can we learn about this odd-looking and dangerous spider?

Physical Description and Behavior

The female Black Widow can be easily distinguished due to its dark black bulbous behind, as well as the red hourglass figure on it. This hourglass figure can also, rarely, be yellow or even white. The males are upwards of 20 times smaller, generally a yellowish-brown, and generally do not last long after mating.

While it is rare in this species, the Black Widow female typically eats its mate during the sex process. After mating, the female will make an egg sac, which is a small sack made out of spider silk that can contain upwards of 750 eggs. Something I will never want to see hatching.

When bitten by this spider, the victim will feel goosebumps, sweating, nausea, and pain. Fatalities are known to occur with up to 12 percent of those bitten.

Their webs are also about 1.5 stronger than mild steel. This silk is similar to that of the Orb Weaver spider, meaning that it is likely that this spider silk can also be utilized as a fabric. However, due to the venomous nature of the Black Widow, silk extraction is not recommended.

Habitat and Location

This spider can be found around the Western United States and near British Columbia in Canada. They are most likely to be found around the border of the US and Canada. They are also very likely to be found in desert regions, like the deserts in Arizona, preferably close to cacti.

You can learn more about this scary spider by watching the video below:

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