Spooky Facts 


Photo by Christopher M. Burzell

  • The 'black widows' have gotten their name because of the propensity to eat their male mates. Unfortunately, this fascinating fact only partially pertains to one of the three species found in the U.S., the L. mactens, who happens to be L. hesperus' closest relative. Most males who mate with females, even if they are attacked by their mates, survive to potentially mate another day (Burke Museum 2010).

  • Black widow venom is 15 times more poisonous than a rattlesnakes but aren't nearly as dangerous because their fangs are not deep enough and they do not expel enough venom for them to be fatal to healthy adults. The only real worry is if a child or elderly person gets bit (Animal Diversity Web 2001).

  • Black widows, like all Arthropods, molt. Watch this video to witness one!

  • Black widows used to be far peskier than they are today because the use of out houses has become all but obsolete. They liked to build their homes in the gap under the seat so men especially had to worry (Virginia Cooperative Extension 2010)!

  • Male L. hesperus on average only live a short four months (Animal Diversity Web 2001)!

  • Certain populations of Latrodectus hesperus retains its juvenile coloration instead of getting the shiny black/reddish hourglass coloration (Virginia Cooperative Extension 2010).

Image 10
Photo by John Bellini

₪ I've Been Bit!₪