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Black Widow Spider

Latrodectus spp.

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Black Widows produce strong, irregular webs to capture prey. Females are known for their cannibalistic behavior towards males after mating, although this is not always the case. They lay eggs in spherical sacs, and each sac can contain hundreds of eggs.


Black Widow spiders feed on insects and other small arthropods. They inject venom to immobilize their prey and then liquefy the insides with digestive enzymes before consumption. They hang upside down in their webs, waiting for prey to become entangled.

The Black Widow spider, belonging to the genus Latrodectus, is infamous for its venomous bite, which can cause severe pain and systemic symptoms in humans. These spiders are widely distributed and often found in sheltered, undisturbed locations.


Black Widow spiders are medium-sized, with females typically measuring about 1.5 inches including the leg span. Females are glossy black with a distinctive red or orange hourglass marking on the underside of their abdomen. Males are smaller and less conspicuous, often with lighter coloring and red or white markings.


Black Widows prefer dark, undisturbed environments such as woodpiles, sheds, basements, and cluttered areas. They are often found in rural and suburban areas but can also adapt to urban environments where such conditions exist.

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