Male black widow spider (Latrodectus hesperus) molting
- Macroscopic Solutions
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About this work
Photomacrograph of a juvenile male black widow spider (Latrodectus hesperus) molting. The black widow or western widow spider is a venomous spider commonly found across North America. Males are usually half the size of females and are light brown in colour (as opposed to the characteristic black colouring with red hourglass-shaped marking on females) with three diagonal stripes on each side of their abdomen. Only bites by the female spider cause harm to humans and contrary to popular belief, bites to humans are rarely fatal. Symptoms (nausea, profuse sweating, severe pain, muscle aches, hypertension and respiratory difficulties) usually subside within several days. An antivenom (antivenin) is available but can cause acute hypersensitivity reactions in some individuals. Width of image is 0.6 cm.