This type of spider is known to be the most common in the world. They live in temperate regions in the US, Southern Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa and much of South America. They can be found in dark, dry shelters, a bit dark area such as barns, garages, basements, closets, hollow stumps, burrows of rodents and on the dense vegetation of vineyards but they seek shelter in warm homes during winter.
Adult widow spider is mostly black in color; they have red spots on their body coupled with long dots of red color. Female widow spiders are typically dark brown or black, usually displaying a red or orange hourglass pattern on the ventral abdomen; some may have a pair of red spots or have no pattern whatsoever. They often exhibit various red or red and white markings on the dorsal abdomen. Females of a few varieties are pale brown and some have no intense markings.
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Black widow spider
Color:Black, with characteristic red “hourglass” on back.
Movement:Do not fly
Size:Body length is approximately 12 mm spider , legs-12 mm.
Life span:1-3 years
Region:Found throughout U.S. and other countries
Black Widow: common in North America, Australia and Oceania. Its density in settlement depends on regional weather conditions over the years and the winter conditions.
Spiders Habitats: they live in different places like mouse burrows, cracked wall, sagebrush steppe, salt marshes wasteland, virgin land and on arable land. They even settle in the habitable unused buildings. But they cannot survive in deserts, very humid area and in thick grass or bushes.
Black Widow’s body is smooth with no hair on their skin, so the insect seems to be quite harmless. The adult female has a spherical shape of about 1.5-2 cm. The amazing part of this type of spider is that the male and the female does not look alike in any means: the female spiders molt 9 times while the male spiders molt only 7 times. The female back widow is known to be less tolerant to man’s obstruction.
Poison of a Black widow’s bite.The poisonous gland of black widow is located in the cephalothorax which is connected by thin channels with moving sharp claws of the upper jaw. The glands are enveloped by a muscle sheath. Due to the drastic reduction of these muscles, a bitten victim receives a portion of the poison instantly. According to biochemical structure, the poison spreads through the lymphatic pathways which contain six of bio active fractions. Bite of the Black Widow is very dangerous for horses and camels, they die directly on the pastures when bitten by this spider but Sheep, goats and pigs are resilient to the poison of black widow and they can eat adult black widow without any consequences.] The venom of a black widow is more deadly than rattlesnake venom in more than 15 times. Most people (especially those living in the grasslands) are familiar with the danger of the Black widow. [sociallocker]To reduce the chance of contact with this spider in the home, they practiced a seasonal burning [/sociallocker]of the steppe to the ground in order to burn adult and young individual spider in cocoons.
Black Widows way of life
Most often, Black Widow get themselves stocked at the base of grass stems, or directly on the ground, where they make spherical cocoons for their eggs, also they make webs for trapping prey. The pervasiveness of sexual cannibalism, a behavior in which the female spider consumer feeds on the male after copulating, has inspired the name widow spider. Study brings about the fact that this act may stir up the survival odds of the young ones, however, females of some species only hardly show this conduct, and much of the known evidence for sexual cannibalism has been observed in laboratory cage in which the males could not run off.
The widow spiders create a web of irregularity, twisted, sticky smooth fibers. The spider very frequently hangs upside down near the middle of its web and waits for insects to mistakenly get in and get stuck. Then, before the insect can extract itself, the spider hurries over to bite it and cloak it in silk. To feed, it introduces its fangs to bring in digestive enzymes, to soften the prey’s internal parts of body. If the spider perceives any form of threat, it will hurriedly let itself down to the ground on a shelter line through the silk web. As with the other web-weavers, these spiders have a very poor sight and depend on vibrations. When a widow spider is stuck, it is unlikely to bite; its bites are the result of frequent disturbance from people around its abode. While some species are more hostile, most are not: many hurts to humans are due to defensive bites when the spider gets accidentally pressed or pinched.
Black widow spider eat. Like many spiders, the black widow eats other spiders and insects that fall within its web. Female spiders hang themselves upside down, waiting for their prey. This position reveals the bright markings on the female spider which serves as a warning to potential predators but it is never afraid of its prey for any means. Widow Spider eats flies, mosquitoes, gnats, beetles and caterpillars which fell in the web; the black widow uses his legs, combs, to wrap prey into the silk. Then pierce their prey fangs and injects digestive enzymes that liquefy them and the sucks them up.
Reproduction of black widows
The mode of Living of black widow spider is very dramatic. Many have heard that the spider eats her husband immediately after the wedding. It happens sometimes. And sometimes the female begins to eat the male during mating.
Usually, the male spider is of the size 4-7 mm, and the female 10-20 mm closer. However, it should be noted that the female shows aggression toward male only in the case if it is not ready to mate. Sexually mature females usually do not attack potential partners and are happy to accept courtship.
Thus, the female black widow falls into a state of catalepsy and remains motionless, not only during mating, but for quite a long courtship proceedings. In such a condition it’s not dangerous for the female because it makes the male do everything that she wants: turns on his back, drags to another, more suitable place for mating. Often before mating, the male spider wraps a web around which play a support role at the time of mating. Rivalry now sets in between the male spiders – a common phenomenon in the mating season. At this period of time, the female spider gets up to 12 potential partners who fight among themselves for the one to mate but there is usually one among them, the most active male who, drives off other contenders, starts the process of pairing.
Black widow egg sac.Grayish Silk sac of egg with a funnel is attached to the web. Each female spider lays from 5 to 15 of such sacs of 12 to 15 mm in diameter, each containing 200 – 900 eggs. These clutches of eggs are fiercely protected the female spider.
Black widow baby.Young spiders slip out of the ball after 10-30 days. Only a handful of them will survive, because the black widows are cannibals in the early stages of their lives. They feed on other spiders from their blood for survival.
Older spiders die in the summer. The young spiders survive through the winter; they also undergo molting during winter. First, they are white, then – orange, and only a couple of months they take after the adult male black widow. Surviving spiders leaves the web and take like 2-3 months, so that they grew up, they began to weave their webs to produce food. Black spiders are not known to be hostile to human with no reason but the can be aggressive towards man when their web or house is being disturbed by man. This mostly occurs when people stays overnight in the wild or near the house of the spiders. The toxicity of the venom of the Black widow depends on many factors: season, age and sex of the spider. The adult female spiders are more risky and the undeveloped spider-lings in terms of bite.
Black widow bite
In recent years there have been changes in the place of habitation of the Black widow into the relatively dense human habitation. It abandoned outbuildings, wood woodpile, rural latrines (known cases of bite in the buttocks). Perhaps the spider penetrates into the house during prolonged heavy rains, flooding the space spider habitat.
Male spiders create the toxins to help with their own pursuing of food, but they make such a weakened version that they’re less hostile to human. Female black widows, on the other hand, have super concentrated venom that can kill a person.
Symptoms after being bitten by a black widow. Diagnosing black widow bite is extremely complex. A bitten victim feels rigorous pain on the point of bite. The point of bite can be determined by two small red spots on the area resulting into a slight erythematic, swelling and numbness. Common symptoms include trauma which develops later – in time from 15 minutes to 6 hours after the bite. The shorter the time interval between the bite and the development of common symptoms, the more rigorous is the manifestations of toxicity when the pain of the bit is burning through the body. The victim proves to be very restless. Then pain moves to the body muscles (abdomen and thorax). Breathing becomes more difficult. In severe poisoning, breathing disorder may be turn to pulmonary edema and cardiac arrest. The intoxication process involves muscles of the face with a grimace of pain and fear. Symptoms of the poison of Black widow last on average 24 to 48 hours, and sometimes – much longer. Poisoning in severe cases within 1 to 2 days may result in death.
Recovery occurs gradually – after two or three weeks. It depends on the quantity of poison that has entered the body. Neurological effects (asthenia, fatigue) can take one to two months.
How to prevent the bite of the Black Widow
The most reliable protection against the deadly poison of Black widow is to avoid running into the spider web which might makes it go angry and aggressive. To prevent contact with the Black Widow, it is necessary to fulfill certain rules:
- The parking lot should be arranged orderly in order to make to make it uninhabitable Black widow
- Do not walk barefoot in areas that has tendency of black widow invasion.
- You must not sleep on bare floor, it is necessary to use a tarp or inflatable mattresses, which are a reliable protection against spider bites at night.
- When collecting wood for the fire, it is recommended to use gloves and protective clothing, pants tucked into socks and boots.
- Tents should not be left open for the whole day. Ensure to shake the tents properly before sleeping in the tents.
- Most bites provoked by humans.
Treatment if bitten by a black widow. When Black widow bites; it should be immediately treated, not later than 2-3 minutes to cauterize the bite point with mild fire or matches. The poison penetrates the skin to a depth of 0.5mm and disintegrates when heated.
Signs of the presence of a spider in the house. If suddenly at home or at the cottage and you find a web of black widow spider or most, be careful. Their web can be removed from its place with a vacuum cleaner. In the fields, orchards and vegetable gardens, where these spiders have become more active, you should wear gloves as a precaution against them. Spiders can be killed by a pesticide spray.
Black widow spiders produce a dense web. Her paintings are usually found close to the ground level and protected by the projections, for example, under furniture or wooden porch on stilts. The red marking in the form of an hourglass will also indicate the presence of this species.