The Black Widow

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The eight-legged insects are totally creepy, though I’m a great fan of Spiderman. Spiders possesses unique characteristics that make this species one of the most remarkable creatures in the planet. I’ve been inspired to write about the Black Widow spider because yesterday, I watched one of the greatest programs in the Animal Planet which talks about insects and arachnids.

The black widow spider (Latrodectus spp.) is a spider infamous for its neurotoxic venom. Oh yeah, it is absolutely deadly. It is a huge widow arachnid that can be found all over the world and usually linked with urban habitats or farming regions. Even though the name ‘Black Widow Spider’ is mainly used to refer to the three North American species popularly known because of their dark coloration, black hair and red hourglass pattern, rarely it is applied to several other members of the Latrodectus (widow spider) type in which there are 31 documented species that includes the Australian redback, brown widow spider (sometimes called the grey widow), and the red widow spider.

There are three known species of black widow found in North America at present. They are: The southern black widow (L. mactans), the northern black widow (L. variolus), and the western black widow (L. hesperus). The southern widow is mainly situated in the southeastern United States as the name points out. It is also found all throughout Florida to New York, and west to Texas, Oklahoma and Arizona, where they run mostly like wildfire. The northern black widow is found largely in the northeastern U.S. and southeastern Canada (only on the Bruce Peninsula), though its ranges extend beyond that of L. mactans quite a bit. The western widow is found in the western half of the United States, as well as in southwestern Canada and much of Mexico.

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