BLACK WIDOW SPIDERS

Black Widow Spider name indicates that it is pitch black in colour and look like an inverted hourglass. Female Black Spiders are larger than the males and there is a belief that they kill or eat the male while mating. Hence, the name.
Black widow spiders mainly feed on insects. They puncture their prey and extract proteins and other vital nutrients that are needed for them.
Black widow spiders are highly poisonous and their venom is over ten times stronger than that of rattlesnakes, according to National Geographic. They use the venom for prey and bite humans only if provoked.
They usually nest under rocks, plants and ridges. They may get inside houses due to cold weather and if unchecked, they may be fatal, especially to infants.

QUICK FACTS

Common name Black Widow Spiders
Scientific name Latrodectus Hesperus
Weight 1 to 10 grms
Length 12 to 38mm
Color Shiny, globular abdomens and are black. Females have red spots and two crosswise bars on the underbelly. Males have yellow and red bonds and spots over their back. Newly hatched spider lings are white or yellowish-white.
Mating Spring
Number of eggs Approximate 200 to 250
Habitat Wed strung at underside of ledges, rocks, plants and debris
Lifespan Up to 3 years

LIFE CYCLE

Egg:The female Black Widow Spider deposits beige-colored eggs which are approximately 0.8 to 15 mm in diameter. Before laying eggs, the female and the male forms a silky egg sac that is approximately 1.0 to 1.25 cm in diameter. The egg sac contains approximate 200 to 250 eggs. Egg sacs are white, tan or grey in colour having a paper like texture. The young spiders called spider lings, will hatch in about a month.

Spider Lings: Young spiders are lighter in color than adults, usually whitish or yellow. But as they mature, they become darker. They have one or two reddish spots on the underside of the abdomen.
The entire lifecycle of a black widow spider from egg to adult takes close to one year. The female lives for about 3 years. The male dies after mating with the female. They leave the female to keep on living and laying eggs.