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Black Widow Spiders Pose Threat Across North America

The Black Widow, one of the most venomous spiders in North America, is known for its potent venom and red mark. This species of spider is responsible for several deaths.

The Black Widow is found in various regions across the United States, including Mexico and Panama. Their lifespan is about two years. The most familiar form of the Black Widow is females, with their black glossy exoskeleton and iconic red hourglass mark. Their male counterparts are smaller, have no venom, and are brown. Black Widows have a cephalothorax containing the brain, venom glands, and limbs. The abdomen contains the heart, silk spinnerets, and vital organs.

The legs of the Black Widow and most spiders have burrs and claws on them. The burrs can detect when something is caught in their web; both features benefit the spider to hang and move around their surroundings. Silk spinnerets produce the web’s material. Their prey is caught with the barely visible web. The spiders use their pedipalps or jaws to capture prey; then they inject venom into their prey with their fangs

Black Widows’ diets include insects, arthropods (like centipedes and scorpions), and other spiders. Female Black Widows are known for their hazardous venom. They are only aggressive and bite when they feel threatened. Black Widows mate during the warmest month, and the females lay 50-100 eggs in an egg sac. The hatchlings will emerge after 4-6 weeks.

The Black Widow kills about 4-8 people in the U.S. annually. It only seems like a normal spider until it shows its venomous fangs. Due to its poisonous venom, it is best to always be careful and stay away if people encounter one!

[Source: The Encyclopedia of Animals]

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