Actual Size: 3-10mm

Characteristics: Black or dark brown. Females have red or orange markings on the underside of the abdomen, sometimes in the shape of an hourglass. Males have white, red, or orange markings on the top of their abdomen. Some species of widow spiders have no markings and are a paler brown.

Behavior: 

  • Black widow species have extremely poisonous venom, though it is rarely fatal.
  • It is only the female widow spider that has a potent venom; males have a far less intense poison.
  • Black widows are generally non-aggressive. Most humans are bitten after squeezing or pinching a widow spider.
  • Female widow spiders eat the fertilizing male after breeding.
  • These spiders prefer to nest near the ground, in dark and undisturbed areas.