Friday, June 27, 2008

A pretty spider I found

I found this very pretty spider outside on my windowsill. She was guarding an egg sack and her web. So I collected her to take some photos and play with her a while. Such a pretty spider!

She is shiny black with red spots on her back and front, sort of look like hearts, or an hourglass. She looks good, her red spots match the trim on my windowsill. Her web is very complex and three dimensional.

After playing with and photographing this pretty spider, I was mean. I gave her the death penalty for trying to live on my house.

Of course I know who she is, she's Latrodectus mactans, or commonly known as the southern black widow spider. She can inflict a serious bite. The venom of a black widow can actually kill a person in rare instances. Black widows have killed 63 people between 1950 and 1990 in the USA.

Black widow venom is extremely potent, 15 times more potent than that of rattlesnakes, much more potent than the venom of cobras and coral snakes. However, the amount of venom is tiny as is the fang that injects the venom - only one millimeter (less than one half of a tenth of an inch).

So, it is hard to get bit by one and likely not fatal.

Sometimes but rarely, the female spider will eat the male after mating. (Is it a metaphor that I found this spider today?) Female spiders can live five years. Males, not as long.

People bitten often suffer the effects of Latrodectism, the clinical syndrome caused by the neurotoxic venom.

Well, I guess I'll do some spraying this afternoon.


IE Ries said...

I'm irritated that you killed her. You did this because she was "trying to live on my house." So you punished this creature merely because she existed in *your* spaced. That's very selfish of you. You had enough fascination to photograph her, but then you decided to play god because she had the *audacity* to make her home where you have yours. Wow, how evolved of you.


William said...

This spider if left alive could multiply and cause a bite that would inflict a serious injury. If it were a snake, I would have relocated it as I have done with rattlesnakes previously. Most people would kill a rattlesnake but I would never, even though it could kill me.

This spider is not an endangered species.

IE Ries said...

What does whether or not it's endangered have anything to do with it? You yourself stated that a rattlesnake is "more dangerous," but you wouldn't kill the snake, so why kill a spider? What's the real difference here??

I *have* been bitten by a Black Widow spider in the past, and I *have* done a careful "catch and release" with one and her egg sac when she built a home just outside my door.

When I was bitten, it was an overall painful experience, but it was an accident, and I certainly wasn't in danger of dying, either. A Sioux medicine woman advised me shortly after the incident, and something she said is always in the forefront of my mind when I encounter a creature with "powerful weapons," such as rattlesnake or a Black Widow spider: "Remember always she bites only to defend, never out of malice."

That's why I was a disturbed that you actually said "what a pretty spider" follwed by "now I'm going to kill her."

Not nice. Not nice at all.

William said...


IE Ries said...

Promise you won't do that again? Please??

Just Call Me Just said... found a pretty spider that you knew could kill you...and then you played with it. Before killing it.

You sound very lonely.

Anonymous said...

You are a fucking ASSHOLE! That spider did NOTHING TO YOU and you still killed her you pathetic little BITCH

Anonymous said...

You people are fucking idiots. Poisonous spiders are dangerous

Anonymous said...

All of you are idiots just kill them all, Do not care if there are 1,000,000,000 or 10 left in the world. I am not going to risk the health of my children and family for some spider. you say they only attack as a defense but you or your children may not know it's there and may provoke it on accident.

Anonymous said...

This is obviously years ago and nobody may see this, but for future reference, I'm so thankful you killed this spider. Thank you very much.

Anonymous said...

I killed a black widow this morning. I smashed the fuck out of it.

Anonymous said...

Researching bc i found this spider @ my home....
So glad i found this. Comments are hilarious:)

Anonymous said...

Kill all spiders they all suck