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Latrodectus, also called the Black Widow Spider

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Published: 6th of June, 2023 by Patrick Carpen.

Last updated: June 6, 2023 at 18:48 pm

They say “size doesn’t matter.” And the black widow spider is living proof of that. The size of a paperclip, the black widow is more feared than the rattlesnake since it does not have a rattle to warn you off and injects venom15 times stronger than the bite of a rattlesnake.

  • Scientific Name: Latrodectus
  • Common Name: Black Widow Spider
  • Average length: 1.5 inches.
  • Average diameter: 0.25 inches.
  • Average weight: 0.035 ounces.
  • Type: Invertebrate
  • Diet: Carnivore

But even though the black widow spider delivers far stronger venom, its bite is somehow far less fatal than that of a rattlesnake. Most people who are bitten by a black spider survive without any lasting damage. The bite of the black widow spider produces muscle aches, nausea, and a paralysis of the diaphragm which can make breathing difficult. Children, the elderly, and those suffering from some sort of infirmity are more likely to die from the sting of a black widow spider. Thankfully, the black widow spider is non-aggressive. It will only bite if someone sits on it, steps on it, or if it feels cornered. Most bites to humans are a reflex action based on a built-in defense mechanism.

In Guyana, the black widow spider is found in interior regions. Consequently, those who work in the “bush” have to take necessary precautions against the black widow spider. These include having insecticide spray within hand reach and checking your clothes and boots carefully before putting them on. The black widow likes to take a rest in a person’s shoe or boot, and this can result as an unpleasant experience. For this reason, miners, loggers, and other interior location workers are advised to “knock out” their boots thoroughly before putting them on.

The black widow spider earned its name by virtue of the fact that the females sometimes kill the males after a mating session in a “macabre behavior.”

The black widow spider preys on insects and other small creatures. These include flies, grasshoppers, caterpillars, mosquitoes, and beetles. It spins a web that serves a two fold purpose: for laying its eggs and for trapping its preys.

The photos below by taken by Guyanese citizen Stephen Dunbar Amsterdam in an interior location in the Northwest Region close to Venezuela.

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