Do Black Widow Spiders Kill Their Mates?

Do Black Widow Spiders Kill Their Mates?

This supposed propensity is what gave the black widow spider, Latrodectus mactans, its name.

However, the three species of North American black widows do not usually kill the male (although they have been known to do so).

Males can sometimes even live in the web of a female for a while without being harmed in any way.

Are male black widows poisonous?

Female widow spiders have unusually large venom glands and their bite can be particularly harmful to large vertebrates, including humans. Only the bites of the females are dangerous to humans. Despite their notoriety, Latrodectus bites are rarely fatal or even produce serious complications.

What is a male black widow spider called?

Black widows are spiders. Their scientific name is Latrodectus mactans, and they share the Latrodectus name with several similar spiders (sometimes called “widow spiders). The males of the widow spiders are much smaller than the females.

How do black widows reproduce?

Black widow spiders reproduce sexually when the male inserts his palpal bulbs into the female’s spermathecal openings. The female deposits her eggs in a globular silken container in which they remain camouflaged and guarded. The female may eat the male after mating.
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