These spiders get their common name from the popular belief that the female eats the male after mating, a phenomenon which rarely happens in nature. Female is glossy black, with a red hourglass on the underside. Males are much smaller and are gray in color with stripes or spots. They are found in rock crevices, wood piles, overhangs, dark garages, basements, stables, and abandoned rodent holes. Spins an irregular web of silk strands, which are heavy and strong.
This spider is not an insect but a predatory arachnid that feed on insects. Highly venomous – a bite can be, but rarely is fatal. The black widow’s neurotoxic venom affects the nervous system. In humans, a bite can cause systematic pain, nausea, muscle spasms, and respiratory paralysis. There is no first aid procedure for bites. Consult a physician immediately.