“Black Widow” The most venomous spider is 15 times more than a rattlesnake

Black widow spiders are feared for their potent venom, and rightfully so, to some degree.

But much of what you think is true about the black widow is probably more myth than fact.

Interesting Things About Black Widow Spiders
These 10 fascinating facts about black widow spiders will teach you how to identify them, how they behave, and how to minimize your risk of being bitten.

– They Aren’t Always Black –
When most people talk about the black widow spider, they likely think they’re referring to a particular spider species.

But in the U.S. alone, there are three different kinds of black widows (northern, southern, and western).

And although we tend to refer to all members of the genus Lactrodectus as black widows, widow spiders aren’t always black.

There are 31 species of Lactrodectus spiders worldwide. In the U.S., these include a brown widow and a red widow.

– Only Adult Females Inflict Dangerous Bites –
Female widow spiders are larger than males. It is believed, therefore, that female black widows can penetrate vertebrate skin more effectively than males and inject more venom when they bite.

Nearly all medically significant black widow bites are inflicted by female spiders.

Male widow spiders and spiderlings are rarely a cause for concern, and some experts even say they don’t bite.

– Females Rarely Eat Their Mates –
Lactrodectus spiders are widely thought to practice sexual cannibalism, where the smaller male is sacrificed after mating.

 

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