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The male Black Widow Spiders have two reproductive organs placed in front of their faces, which are called "palps". After the Black Widow has laid her eggs and covered them with her web, the babies' body is outlined in a wax figure.
It takes an average Black Widow Spider two to four months to mature and start to breed but it takes six to nine months for a Black Widow Spider to fully mature. The female Black Widow has a life span of 5 years whereas the male Black Widow has a much shorter life span that depends on the environment and its female mate.
As my tribute to Science Friday on Daily Kos, I would like to welcome you to the first weekly edition of Spider Friday--an introduction to the spiders that either do or could affect your daily life.
This Friday, we will be discussing spiders in the Latrodectus genus, including, but not limited to, the Black Widow. These spiders get their name because of the cannibalistic reputation of the females, who have a reported proclivity toward eating their much smaller mates after sex.


The spiderlings take a couple of months to mature, growing darker with each successive molt. Black Widow venom contains a very potent neurotoxin that affects the muscles and the central nervous system. ALTHOUGH FATALITIES OCCUR IN LESS THAN 1% OF ALL CASES, BLACK WIDOW BITES ARE A VERY SERIOUS MATTER.
Really, it's a misnomer to be talking about the "black widow" at all, because what we commonly term the "black widow" is actually three different species! There are two other Widow species that you might see if you like in Central or South Florida. But perhaps the largest debate among scientists today concerning the Widow genus is what to make of another potential American species, currently dubbed L.
Not only is the male Black Widow small (about the size of a grain of rice) but has a high risk to be eaten by its mate.


The male spider must first begin by plucking at the web the female had made, then make abdominal vibrations, and end by drumming on the female spider with its palps.
The Black Widow Spider goes through phases called molting and on average only 30 0f the babies survive after the first molting phase.
The male spider has two palps, he inserts both into the female spider one by one and deposits his sperm inside the internal organs of the female. Black Widow poisoning (also called latrodectism) is typically treated with a combination of antivenin, as well as the muscle relaxant calcium gluconate to counteract the muscle cramping and relieve the associated pain.



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