bed bugs

The black widow makes a terrible wife and a bad parent

by The Bug Doctor

IMG 0751 225x300 The black widow makes a terrible wife and a bad parentIt is a common belief that the black widows gets her name because she eats the male after mating. While it does happen it’s not as often as you would believe but did you know it also occurs in many other spider species? This idea may have come about from lab testing where researchers were studying mating habits and put the spiders in a small controlled tank. The male had little room to escape and I guess the Mrs. just couldn’t help herself. Also it is quite common for a piece of the male to break off after mating as he makes a hasty retreat (he heard the same rumor) and this may have given rise to the notion that the female bites the head off of her mate after mating.

Mating for the black widow is a dicey situation however but her ability to retain the sperm means she only has to mate once. Does that mean the guy is lucky or unlucky? Mature males produce sperm in a small web and deposit semen on it, he then fills his palps and leaves his habitat looking for a mate. This may take some time but when he finds her web he plucks the snare or trigger strands to entice her to come out. Once he determines she is the right specie of spider the mating ritual begins. (It is his palps that determine the compatibility as the palps of any other spider will not be the right size or shape to fit into the females reproductive openings). The male approaches and begins to slowly tap or caress the female and if she stays still he will advance further. This can take quite some time as she can be very Picture 42 300x177 The black widow makes a terrible wife and a bad parentpicky, only the right combination of touching or vibrating her web will arouse her. If successful he positions himself so that he can insert his palps into her spermathecal openings releasing the sperm onto the eggs inside of her. After mating a palp may break off as the male makes his retreat.

The female then spins a small web where she lays her fertilized eggs and then spins more webbing to encase them. The pear shaped sac is well protected and often camouflaged but soon after the eggs hatch the babies are on their own. Oh yea, she eats a bunch of them too. Out of the 1000 or so baby spiders that hatch some estimates say that only about a dozen get away from the female without being eaten. Maybe it’s a good thing that the female only has to mate once but the male is free to go off again and try his luck with another mate but my heart goes out to the kids.

Spider Ebook Image The black widow makes a terrible wife and a bad parentThe truth about Americas most deadly spiders” is a free e-book which you can choose to download and read at your leisure. Simply sign up for my also free newsletter and it’s your to keep. This is the first of many detailed writings that I have planned and I truly hope that you’ll enjoy it and use the information to keep your home spider free. If you missed the sign up box when you logged onto my site simply fill out the newsletter request form at the right of this page and shoot me an e-mail and I’ll get it right to you.

Information is a powerful thing and I hope together we can put to rest any undue arachnophobia’s.

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  • http://www.callprobest.com Keith

    Ok just creepy but great video find.

  • http://www.callprobest.com Keith

    Ok just creepy but great video find.

  • The Bug Doctor

    I love bugs but that’s not a video you want to watch before you go to bed.:)

  • The Bug Doctor

    I love bugs but that’s not a video you want to watch before you go to bed.:)

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