Home - Guide - Black Widow Spider
Black Widow Spider (Western)
(Latrodectus hesperus)
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Family: Theridiidae
Genus: Latrodectus
Species:  hesperus
IUCN Status:
Not Listed
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    The black widow spider can be found throughout parts of
    the United States, with the majority of them being found
    in the southwestern states.  The Western Black Widow
    is found in the western part of the United States, as well
    as parts of Canada and Mexico.


    The black widow will feed mostly on insects such as flies
    but will also eat centipedes, millipedes and other spiders.


    Black widows may be found in a variety of habitats.
    Although they can sometimes be found in houses, they
    usually choose a secluded area to build their web such
    as a woodpile.


    Approximate size of a black widow spider:
    Average size of a female is from .5 - 1.5 inches for the
    female dependent on species.  Males are about half the
    size of females.


    The reproduction process for the black widow is complex,
    this is only a brief summary of the process.
    The female black widow lays egg sacs that have been
    fertilized by sperm from the male.  The number of eggs in
    each sac varies from less than one hundred to more than
    300.  When the eggs hatch, most of the young will not
    survive due to cannibalism and environmental factors.