How to Keep Your New Black Widow Spider
 Latrodectus species

 
Amphibians
Axolotls
Caecilian Worm
Chaco Toad
Mud Puppies

Newts General
Newts Eastern
Newts Golden

Newts Mandarin
Salamanders
Suriname Toad
Tadpoles
Terrarium I
Terrarium II
USA Toads
Water Dogs
Misc. Toads

Frogs
Bull
Clawed
Dumpy
Dwarf
Fire-Belly
Floating
Green Tree
Leopard
Pac Man
Pipa pipa
Pyxie
Red-Eyed Tree
Tomato
Misc Frogs 
Misc Frogs II
Misc Frogs III
Misc Frogs IV

Misc Frogs V

Animals
Bunnies
Bunnies II 

Cat-N-Around Cat Club
Cat-N-Around Cat Club 2007 Annual Show
Hawkeye Cat Club 2004
Hawkeye Cat Club 2005
Chinchillas
Degus
Ferrets
Ferrets by BOB
Gerbils
Ground Squirrels
Guinea Pig
Hamsters I
Hamsters II
Hamsters III
Hamsters IV
Hamsters V
Hedgehogs
Kittens
Kids & Kittens
Mice
Mice Pets II
Parasites
Rats I
Rats II
Rats III
Rats, Hairless
S-T Opossums
Siberian Chipmunks
Sugar Gliders
Sugar Gliders II
Water Bottles

Bugs
Crabby 500
Crab 04 Results
Centipedes
Cray/Lobsters
Crayfish II
Crayfish III
Cray, Yucatan
Fiddler Crabs
Shrimp, Algae
Shrimp, Aqua
Shrimp, Orange Bee
Shrimp, Red
Shrimp, Flower

Shrimp, Ghost
Shrimp, Rudolph
Hermit Crabs
Hermit Crabs II
Madagas Roach
Mantids
Mini-Clams
Mini-Crabs
Patriot Crabs
Giant Millipedes
Red Claw Crabs
Reiman Butterfly
Spider, Black Widow
Snail, Apple
Snail, Colombian
Snail, Land
Snail, Malaysian

Snail, Mystery
Snail, Trapdoor 
Scorpions
Tarantulas
Tarantulas II
Tarantula Night 2006
TarantulaWeen VII
TarantulaWeen 9
Walking Stick
Misc. Bugs
Misc Bugs II  

Birds
Breeding Tips

Button Quail
Canaries

Cockatiels
Dove, Diamond
Dove, Ringneck
Finches
Love Birds
Parakeets
Pelleted Foods
Quaker Parrots

Parrot Pictures
Parrot Pix II

Parrot Pix III
Dave's Parrots


Lizards
Alligators
Anoles
Bearded Dragon

Beardies II
Calotes
Chamel, Jackson
Chamel, Panther
Chamel, Veiled
Crested Geckos
Gecko, Golden

Gecko, House
Gecko, Leopard
Gecko, Tokay
Horned "Toads"
Iguana New
Iguana Dragons
Iguana Q&A I
Iguana Q&A II
Iguana Training
Iguana Update
Cool Iguana Pics
Knight Anoles
Monitors, Nile

Monitors, Savana
Monitors, Water

Salmonella
Skinks
Skinks Blue-Tongue
Tegus
Uromastyx maliensis
Water Dragon
Misc Lizards
Misc Lizards 2
Misc Lizards 3
Misc Lizards 4
Misc Lizards 5

Misc Lizards 6
Misc Lizards 7
Misc Lizards 8
Misc Lizards 9
Misc Lizards 10


Snakes
Anacondas
Boa, Rosy

Boa, Red-Tail
Corn Snake
Garter Snake
Green Snake
Kids/Corn Snakes
Kids/Red-Tail Boas

Kids at Pet Expo 1

Kids at Pet Expo 2

Kids at Pet Expo 3

Kids at Pet Expo 4

Kids at Pet Expo 5
King & Milk
Python, Ball
Python, Burmese

Snakes Alive
Snakesgiving
Snakesgiving II

Misc Snake Pix
Misc Snakes II

Misc Snakes III  

Turtles/Tortoises
Box, Asian
Box, USA
Races
Snapping

Spiny

Sulcata
Water

Western Painted

Live Foods
Blackworms
Blood Worms
Br Shrimp I
Br
Shrimp II
Crayfish 1
Crayfish 2
Crayfish 3 
Crickets
Dandelions
Daphnia
Earthworms
Feeder Goldfish
Fruit Flies
Ghost Shrimp

Glass Worms

Grindal Worms
Infusoria
Mealworms
Microworms
Rosy Reds

Super Worms

Wax Worms
White Clouds

 

Decorating
Bubbles
Driftwood
Gravel
Plastic Plants
Rocks
Slow Growing Plants

Miscellaneous
Bob's Acclimation

How to Start
How to Add New Fish
How to Keep Healthy
Which Fish Get Along?
10 Questions to Ask
What is Ich?
Under Gravel Filters

Sponge Filters
Cloudy Water

Cool Water Tanks
Gravel Vacuums
Preventing Disease
Feeding to the Max
Frozen Foods
Green Water
Nasty Chemicals
Overfeeding
Power Filters
Rift Lake Salts
Quarantine Tank
Mini-Tank
2nd Av Bait

Pet World Visit
Dandelions

Aquatic Plants
Amazon Swords
More Swords
Sword Plants III

Anubias
Anacharis
Aponogetons
A. boivinianus
A. fenestralis
A. ulvaceous
Aquarium/Bog
Banana Plant
Bolbitis
Bunch
Bunch Plants II
Cryptocorynes
Crystalwort
Dwarf Lily
Grassy
Grassy II
Hornwort
Hygrophila
Lace
Java Fern I
Java Fern II
Java Fern III
Java Fern IV
Java Moss
Moss Balls
Onion
Vermiculite

Watersprite

Different Watersprite

Black Widow Spider Factoids

Origin U.S. except Alaska -- especially agricultural areas
Size 0.5" body, 1.5" leg span.  Males half size.
Temperament Solitary web dweller.  Not aggressive unless messed with.
Longevity 3 to 5 years.  Males half that.
Venomous Strong neurotoxin.  Males don't bite.
Mating Springtime
Breeding 4 to 9 egg sacs each with 100s of eggs each summer
Incubation 2 to 4 weeks. Most spiderlings eat each other.
Diet Mostly insects but not real picky.

LA
Female black widow hanging in typical belly up position.  Good "hourglass" shot.

Origin:  Black widow spiders grow all over the United States (except Alaska) -- mostly in agricultural areas.  I'd never seen one in real life until a large grocery chain called Aqualand and asked me to pick one up at their produce department Sunday, October 28, 2007.  It came in with a shipment of muskmelons.  They captured two (which they threw together).  The one above ate the other one -- no professional courtesy whatsoever.  

LA
So naturally they gave her some tasty flies which she rapidly polished off.

Size:  For us tarantula fans, black widows stay pretty small -- some 0.5 to 0.6 inches.  The males stay about half that size.  Her leg span measures about 1.5 inches.  Her small size means she can lurk in any pile of rubbish waiting for unsuspecting prey.  Rick says when he lived in Oklahoma, he found small lizards in their webs.  Black widow spiders used to bite more people on the butt before we switched to indoor plumbing in Des Moines.  So, those two-holers provided an excellent source of fresh flies on a daily basis.  You'd think that the nests of wasps up in the corner would help control the black widow population.  Ain't ecology great?

LA
Female cricket investigating this strange creature.  Photo taken thru the container.

Temperament:  When feeding tarantulas, you expect instant action when you drop in a cricket.  Tarantulas will often catch the crickets in the air.  Not so with the black widow.  They're primarily nocturnal so she ignored the cricket we offered.  She was placid except when the cricket actually bumped into her.  The cricket trashed the rudimentary web she was reposing within.  She still pretty much ignored him.

LA
Death before dawn.  Photo taken thru the container.

Nocturnal Diner:  Black widows apparently prefer to dine fashionably late.  When we checked her the next morning, she had taken care of the cricket.  Widows either disable their prey with webbing or with their venom.  They then inject a substance which turns their prey into a spider Slurpee.  She's been within my purview for only two days and already seems to have grown.

LA
Taking the lid off allows for a much better picture.  Note the cricket's medieval pose.

Diet:  Latrodectus species eat insects, other spiders, and apparently any other critters small enough to overpower.  Since we have thousands of crickets she'll be on the LA chirper diet for a while.  We'll try mealworms later -- maybe even a superworm..

LA
After she finishes dining, she returns to her "belly up" daytime resting position.

Temperament:  She stays nearly immobile during the day with her well known hour glass warning off potential intruders. 

LA
Those must be her fangs gleaming in the light.  The round things must be digested cricket.

Omar, Bakersfield, CA, January 13, 2008
Hi Aqualand, I was reading your info on Black Widows.  I just wanted to share some info on how I keep mine.  I use deli containers and slather petroleum jelly around the edge. This prevents them from climbing to the top.  I usually give them a twig or two to help them build their web. I just give them a cricket once every two or three weeks.  As long as they are plump, they donít need food.  The juveniles resemble the males and are a whitish gold color and have a brown hour glass.  Some females will actually lay eggs without ever mating.  Also on the 7th picture the two gleaming dots are her largest eyes.  I live in Bakersfield, California and Widows arenít uncommon.  One evening I counted over 40 in  my yard. Sincerely,

A:  Thanks for the extra info.  I'm adding it to my black widow page.  LA

LA
Here you can see her amorphous web structure.  Not much to it.

Footing:  Black widows sport very long legs.  You see them most often in Halloween decorations.  She apparently can't clamber up the clean walls of the plastic Deli container.  However, overnight she attaches bits of web that enable her to come up the walls at will.  Wiping the webbing off the sides keeps her mostly on the first floor.

LA
She doesn't move around much unless you remove her web or pester her.  We used long forceps.

LA
Thanks to FDR, you can tell exactly what size this black widow is.

Neurotoxin:  Black widow spider venom is 15 times stronger than timber rattlesnakes according to most venomometers.  Luckily they crank out little bitty quantities -- plenty strong enough to make you very sick for a couple days.  You won't like it but it won't kill you.

LA
Black widow spiders are attractive little beasts.  The red hour glass makes for an instant I.D.

Intriguing Side Effect:  Her venom causes priapism -- look it up.  The cure?  Calcium gluconate.  You won't find this info on the "web."  Use it carefully.

LA
And black widow spiders take up minimal room.

Fear Factor:  Even tarantula people fear black widows.  They're really not much of a threat.  You'll probably never even see one.  That's part of their modus operandi -- they don't want you to see them.

LA
Fresh cricket October 30.pm.  Pretty much ignored during the daylight hours.

LA
November 1 morning:  Spider 1.  Cricket zero.

Breeding, etc:  Black widow females evidently often eat the males.  We assume that this female is fertile and will make an egg sac.  We'll keep our eyes peeled.

LA
Couple crickets later she' still sucking and spinning.  She's pretty much got this guy drained.

LA
November 4 evening we added a superworm.  We expect action after midnight.

LA
November 5 am she's just hanging out with her bits of digested cricket below..

LA
The superworm is immobilized in webbing plus possibly a bit of venom.

LA
November 6 at 10 pm we took this guy out dead but not eaten.  We put in another cricket.

LA
November 10 both ignoring each other.  Cricket has actually molted.

LA
November 13 Mr. hungry cricket devours the black widow.  End of story.

LA
She will live on in our memory (and on the web).

Eulogy:  Black widow spiders have a possibly bad reputation.  But it would be wise to remember that crickets also bite.  It will be tough for us to locate a leading lady for a sequel.  LA

 

Q&As Jun I 0607
Q&As Jun II 0607
Q&As Jun III 0607
Q&As Jul I 0707

Q&As Jul II 0707
Q&As Aug I 0807
Q&As Aug II 0807
Q&As Aug III 0807

Q&As Sept I 0907

Q&As Sept II 0907

Q&As Sept III 0907

Q&As Oct I 1007

Q&As Oct II 1007

Q&As Oct III 1007
Q&As Nov I  1107
Q&As Nov II 1107

Q&As Nov III  1107

© 200LA Productions
aqualandpetsplus.com

                                                  

3600 Sixth Avenue

Corner of Sixth & Euclid Avenues

Des Moines, IA 50313

515 283-0300

Home

Fish

Other Stuff

 

Anabantids
Betta Leaf 
Betta Breed 1
Betta Breed II
Betta Info
Betta  Housing
Betta Pla Kat
Choc Gourami
Climbing Perch
Gourami Pix
Kiss. Gourami
Osphronemus
Pearl Gourami
More Pearls
Paradise Fish  
Snakehead
Spawn Gourami
T. trichopterus

Catfish  
Banjo
Bullheads
Bull Sharks
Channel  
Corydoras
Cory Pics
Electric
Glass
Hoplos
Otocinclus
Pangassius
Pictus
Plecostomus
Pleco Bristle
Pleco Costly I
Pleco Costly II
Pleco Costly III
Pleco Costly IV
Pleco Costly VI

Raphael
Red-Tail
Shovelnose
Sun
Synodontis
Synodontis petricola
Turushuki Catfish
Upside-down
Misc Catfish
Misc Catfish II
Misc Catfish III

Misc Catfish IV

Cichlids
African I
African II
African III
African IV

Amer. Small
Amer.  Med 
Amer. Large
Angelfish I
Angelfish II
Angelfish III
Angelfish IV
More Angels
Buttikoferi

Chocolate
Chocolate Spawning
Cichlid Decor
Cichlid Food
Convicts
Convicts 2
Convicts 3
Convicts 4
Dempseys
More Dempseys
Discus
Dither Fish
Flower Horn
Green Terror
Jaguar
More Jaguars
Jaguar Spawning

Jaguar Spawning II
Jewel Fish
Keo's Flowerhorns
Keo's Flowerhorns II
Kribensis

Oscars 1
Oscars 2
Oscars 3
Oscars 4
Oscars 5
More Oscar
More Oscar II
More Oscars III
More Oscars 2007
Peacock Bass
Red Devils
More Red Devil
 
Red Parrots

Red Parrots Spawn
Pikes
Pink Tilapia
Rams
Red Bay Snooks
Roger Stephen's Cichlids
Severums
More Severums
Severums III

Tanganyikans
Texas Cichlid
Texas Spawning

Texas Spawn II
Uarus
Misc Cichlids I
Misc Cichlids II
Misc Cichlids III
Misc Cichlids IV
Misc Cichlids V
Misc Cichlids VI
Misc Cichlids VII
Misc Cichlids VIII

Livebearer  
Guppies
Half-Beak
Mollies
Moons/Platys
Swordtails

Minnows/Tetra 
Barbs
Barbs, Black
Barbs, Gold

Barbs, Rosy
Barbs, Tiger
Barbs, Tinfoil

Danios

Distochodus
Fathead Minnows
Headstanders
Killies, Econ.
Killies, Golden
Killies, Peat
Killies, Plant
Misc Mini-Fish
Pacķs 

Piranha, Black
Piranha, Red
Rainbowfish

Rainbowfish, Dwarf Neon
Rainbowfish, Irian

Silver Dollar
Tetras, Larger
Tetras, Smaller
Tetras, Spawn
Tetra, Vampire
White Clouds

Pond Fish
Carp
Channel Cat
Gold. Comets
Gold. Fantails
More Fantails
Gold. Oriental  
Gold Oriental II 
Gold. Spawn
Kloubec Koi Farm
Koi
Koi II

Koi III
Plecostomus
Shubunkins

Oddballs  
Af. Butterfly
Af. Lungfish
Af. Mudskippr
American Eel
Archer Fish

Arowana
Bichirs
Borneo Suckers
Brackish I
Brackish II
Brackish III
Brackish IV
Brackish V
Michael Troung's Pix
Butterfly/Wasp
Chameleon Fish
Chromides

Chin Alg Eater
Crazy Fish
Crocodile Fish

Datnioides

Dojo
Electric Cat
Electric Eels

Elephant Nose
Exodon paradoxus
Flounder
Gars
 
Glassfish
Goby Bumble
Goby Butterfly
Goby Dragon
Goby Misc.
Half-Beak
Knife African
Knife Clown
Knife Ghost
Loach Botias
Loach Clown
Loach Kuhli
Loach Weather
Moray Eel  
Peacock Gudgeons
Polypterids
Puffers

Ropefish
Scats
Siam Algae Eater
 
Spiny Eels 
Snakehead
Stingray
Stonefish
Wasp Fish
Wolffish
Wrest Half-Beak
Misc Mini-Fishes
Misc Odd
Misc Odd II
Misc Odd III
Misc Odd  IV

Misc Odd V

Sharks  
Bala
Black
Bull
Chinese Hi-Fin Banded
Iridescent
Red-Tail
Siam Algae Eater

Pond Info 
Blank Park Zoo
Bob Humphrey's Ponds
Cattails
Maffett Reservoir
DMACC's Pond
D.M. Botanical Center
D.M. Water Works
Dr. Ervanian's Garden
Duckweed

Dwarf Lily
Ewing Park "Pond"
Jan & Chris's Water Garden
John McDonald's Pond
Hall's Four Acres
Klines' Water Garden
Landscaper Effects
Mini-Pond Pics
Pioneer Corn's Pond
Pond Fish Predators
Pond on 38th Street 
Pond Pics
Pond Plants
More Pond Plants
Pond Plants III
Reiman Ponds
River Scenes
Riverview Island
Selin's Water Gardens
Selin's Japanese Garden
Tom's Used Cars Pond
Urbandale Duck Pond
Water Hyacinth
Water Lettuce
Wild Ponds