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Mediterranean Black Widow (Latrodectus tredecimguttatus)

The Mediterranean black widow is a member of the family of comb-footed spiders. Italian entomologist Pietro Rossi first described this species in 1790. This species was at one point considered a subspecies of the southern black widow.

Scientific Classification

Mediterranean Black Widow Spider

Physical Description and Identification

Adults

Size: Male: 0.4-0.7 cm Female: 0.7-1.5 cm

Color: They are black, with thirteen spots on their dorsal abdomen. These spots are red but sometimes yellow or orange in some individuals.

Other Characteristic Features: Their abdomen is covered in long and short hairs.

Latrodectus tredecimguttatus

Eggs

They lay their eggs in a giant white sac, producing 6-8 sacs in their lifetime.

Spiderlings

Hundreds of spiderlings emerge from the sac laid by their mother.

The Web

Their webs consist of three layers, with the middle layer shaped like a series of hexagonal meshes.

Is the Mediterranean Black Widow Spider Venomous

Only the females are considered deadly, as the males lack strong mouthparts to pierce human skin. Their bite is painful but only fatal in rare cases.

European Black Widow

 

Quick Facts

Other names European black widow, karakurt (“black worm”)
Lifespan 1-3 years
Distribution Caucasus, Central Asia, China, Iran, Kazakhstan, Mediterranean, Russia (Europe to South Siberia), and Ukraine
Habitat Steppes and other grasslands
Common Predators Birds, wasps, some small mammals
Diet Insects like ants and beetles

Mediterranean Black Widow

Did You Know

  • While generally not coming in contact with humans, there have been reports of farmers being bitten, as their farmlands often overlap with the spider’s natural habitat.
  • In Kazakhstan, camels have been reported to have been killed by this spider’s bite.

Image Source: reddit.com, minio.scielo.br, static.inaturalist.org, i.pinimg.com

The Mediterranean black widow is a member of the family of comb-footed spiders. Italian entomologist Pietro Rossi first described this species in 1790. This species was at one point considered a subspecies of the southern black widow.

Mediterranean Black Widow Spider

Physical Description and Identification

Adults

Size: Male: 0.4-0.7 cm Female: 0.7-1.5 cm

Color: They are black, with thirteen spots on their dorsal abdomen. These spots are red but sometimes yellow or orange in some individuals.

Other Characteristic Features: Their abdomen is covered in long and short hairs.

Latrodectus tredecimguttatus

Eggs

They lay their eggs in a giant white sac, producing 6-8 sacs in their lifetime.

Spiderlings

Hundreds of spiderlings emerge from the sac laid by their mother.

The Web

Their webs consist of three layers, with the middle layer shaped like a series of hexagonal meshes.

Is the Mediterranean Black Widow Spider Venomous

Only the females are considered deadly, as the males lack strong mouthparts to pierce human skin. Their bite is painful but only fatal in rare cases.

European Black Widow

 

Quick Facts

Other names European black widow, karakurt (“black worm”)
Lifespan 1-3 years
Distribution Caucasus, Central Asia, China, Iran, Kazakhstan, Mediterranean, Russia (Europe to South Siberia), and Ukraine
Habitat Steppes and other grasslands
Common Predators Birds, wasps, some small mammals
Diet Insects like ants and beetles

Mediterranean Black Widow

Did You Know

  • While generally not coming in contact with humans, there have been reports of farmers being bitten, as their farmlands often overlap with the spider’s natural habitat.
  • In Kazakhstan, camels have been reported to have been killed by this spider’s bite.

Image Source: reddit.com, minio.scielo.br, static.inaturalist.org, i.pinimg.com

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