science education

Exploring Nature Science Education Resource:

Life Science, Earth Science, and Physical Science Resources for K-12

Spider (Black Widow)

Latrodectus mactans
Spider (Black Widow)

Range

They are found in all of the southern U.S., mostly in the western deserts.

Habitat

They are common in woodpiles, on rocky hillsides, in garden sheds and outhouses.

Body Traits

They are not large spiders. Their body is about 1.5 inches long. Females are shiny black with a red hourglass- shaped mark on their round belly (abdomen). Males are half the female’s size with longer legs and light streaks on its belly (abdomen).

Habits

The black widow is not a bold (aggressive) spider. The female hangs belly up in her web and rarely leaves it, but she will bite if bothered. Only the female has a poisonous bite. The venom is 15 times as toxic as that of a rattlesnake.

Diet

They eat flies, moths, crickets, small reptiles and other small animals. Their fangs shoot venom into prey to kill it and digestive juices to make its body soft for easier eating.

Reproduction

The female eats the male after mating. Then lays 25 – 900 eggs in an oval, brown, papery egg sac. They hatch after about 3 weeks.

Spider (Black Widow)

Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Family: Theridiidae
Genus: Latrodectus
Species: L. mactans

Citing Research References

When you research information you must cite the reference. Citing for websites is different from citing from books, magazines and periodicals. The style of citing shown here is from the MLA Style Citations (Modern Language Association).

When citing a WEBSITE the general format is as follows.
Author Last Name, First Name(s). "Title: Subtitle of Part of Web Page, if appropriate." Title: Subtitle: Section of Page if appropriate. Sponsoring/Publishing Agency, If Given. Additional significant descriptive information. Date of Electronic Publication or other Date, such as Last Updated. Day Month Year of access < URL >.

Here is an example of citing this page:

Amsel, Sheri. "Spider (Black Widow)" Exploring Nature Educational Resource ©2005-2019. July 18, 2019
< http://www.exploringnature.org/db/view/Spider-Black-Widow >

Exploringnature.org has more than 2,000 illustrated animals. Read about them, color them, label them, learn to draw them.

cheetah, tiger, panda, fox, bear, cougar