Spiders that belong to the genus Latrodectus are called black widow spiders. They are also known as black widows. Scientists have recognized 31 black widows.
Black widows have varied sizes and shapes but most of them have reddish markings on their hourglass abdomen.
Black widow spiders live in just about every continent in the world except for Antarctica.
They are either fully black or dark brown in color. While adult males have red spots females seem to lack one.
Adult spiders grow 3–10 millimeters in body length. Females are bigger than males. Large females can reach a size of 13 mm.
The female black widow eats the male soon after mating—a behavior which is quite common in many spiders.
Black widows spiders eat mosquitos, beetles, flies, grasshoppers, and caterpillars. They will make nests near the ground.
Black widows are web-weavers. They construct irregular shaped webs. Black widows have got extremely poor eyesight but they detect their prey through vibrations. When the insect gets stuck into a web, the wave of vibration travels through the web all the way to a spider.