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Black Widow

Black Widow

 

Latrodectus is a genus of spider, in the family Theridiidae, which contains 32 recognized species. The common name, widow spiders, is sometimes applied to members of the genus due to a behavior seen in some species in which the female eats the male after mating. The black widow spider is perhaps the best-known member of the genus. Its bite is dangerous because of the neurotoxin latrotoxin which causes the condition latrodectism, both named for the genus. The female black widow has unusually large venom glands and its bite is particularly harmful to humans; however, Latrodectus bites rarely kill humans if proper medical treatment is provided.

 

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