Black Widow Spider Facts
Black Widow Spider Female
An adult black widow spider has a black shiny abdomen, with two red triangles underneath, the shape of an hourglass. It is very small about 1.5 cm not including the legs.
These spiders make their webs usually outside and in dark places. The web is often built close to the ground, near houses, or in garages.
Females lay about 300 to 400 eggs per cocoon, and about four cocoon's every summer.
The black widow spider is nocturnal, it hunts and moves about at night. It is a very dangerous spider. In fact its venom is 15 times more dangerous than that of a rattlesnake.
It is an invertebrate animal belonging to the arachnid family, to the class of the arthropods. We can count 8 to 10 species. Its bite can paralyze, even kill.
the Black widow spider female is about 15 mm, the male is smaller only about 7 mm. It has two eyes above the mouth and two hooks with which it injects its venom.
Bites Look Like This
The black widow spider bite
Reaction to a black widow spider bite, depends entirely on where the person was bitten. The venom of a black widow spider is particularly dangerous, because one cannot feel the bite when it occurs, and when the person discovers it, it is can already be infected. The bite is normally sensitive 48 hours after it occurs.
Symptoms of the black widow spider's bite are frequently fainting spells, difficulties in breathing and speaking, vomiting, a low pulse rate, and a cold body. These symptoms can last 4 to 5 hours before falling into a coma, and if no medical care is available death could ensue. The majority of people who have been bitten by a black widow spider have not died, but spent 2 to 5 agonizing days before recovering completely.
If you have been bitten by a black widow spider, stay calm, catch the spider if possible, to make sure it is identified by a specialist. Call a doctor or a hospital right away. We recommend that you apply an antiseptic lotion if you can.
Children under the age of 16 and older people over 60, and people with cardiac problems will probably have to remain in the hospital for a while.
Another Look At The Spider
More facts about black widow spiders
A black widow spider lives about 1 1/2 year. The male has a shorter longevity, only eight months maximum.
The black widow spider is an insectivore. It is found in tropical regions, in the United States, in Australia, and in several countries in Europe. It likes dry and grassy grounds.
Only the female is dangerous, it is recognizable to its bright spots under its belly. The most dangerous for humans is the American black widow spider. (Latrodectus mactans).
Generally, man is not on the spider's menu. About 15 species are dangerous, but bites leading to death are rare.
The silk that the black widow spider spin for its web is extremely strong. The threads of the web lay in a crisscross pattern making it a deadly landing for any insect. When an insect land on it the spider which was waiting for a prey in the center of the web, will feel the vibrations and rush towards the unfortunate victim. It will spin it on itself wrapping it in a silk coffin; there is no escape possible, as this spider is a feared hunter.
Black Widow Web
Black widows spider have redeeming value
Lest you should believe that such a dangerous little animal is rather worthless to human, it has its redeeming value.
A few years ago scientists in Chile isolated properties in the black widow spider's venom, that according to their study could treat naturally and without side effect, erectile disfunction. The drug has been tested on animals and reports say that it functions pretty much as would Viagra.
It would seem that the Chilean spider, offer a venom rich in possibilities as the scientists are reporting that it might have spermicidal properties. These properties do not seem to be present in the venom of black widows in other regions of the globe, said Chilean Dr Fernando Romero, head of the project.
Working for the Universidad de la Frontera Dr Romero has applied for a patent for his discoveries.
In 2007, another team of scientists at the University of California in the United States, have identified two major genes in the silk from the black widow spider. The properties of this silk, elasticity, resistance and lightness, would make it a good candidate for usage in such materials such as bullet proof jackets, and medical applications. Industrial production can be done by adding these genes to a bacteria which can synthesize the protein. The University has filed a patent application for an industrial application.