Black widow spider

Black widow spider

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Caption: Black widow spider. Macrophotograph of a female black widow spider (Lactrodectus mactans) climbing along silken threads. This spider can be identified as a female by the red hourglass- shaped mark on the underside of her abdomen. The female black widow is dangerous to humans, as her bite contains a significant amount of nerve toxin. This neurotoxin causes pain and swelling, and, in rare cases, may even be fatal. The species gets its name from the female's practice of devouring the male after mating, although this behaviour is seen in other spiders. Photographed in Contra Costa County, California, USA. Magnification unknown.

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Keywords: animal, arachnida, black widow, black widow spider, california, female, invertebrates, latrodectus mactans, nature, silk, spider, wildlife, zoology

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