Black Widow Spider

Black Widow Spider Introduction

Black Widow spiders are a notoriously known venomous spider and the most venomous one in North America. Black Widows can be distinguished by their hourglass-shaped marking on the abdomen.  The bite of the Black Widow often produces muscle pain, nausea, and mild paralysis of the diaphragm, which makes breathing difficult. Most victims recover without serious complications, but a bite can be fatal to very small children and the elderly. The large web of black widows consists of a loosely organized mesh (cobweb). The female may lay several masses of eggs during one summer. The egg case is suspended in the web and contains 250–750 eggs. It is white or tan in color and has a papery texture, and it measures up to 12 mm (0.5 inch) in diameter. The young spiders, which are orange and white, emerge in 14 to 30 days. Females may live more than 11/2 years. To feed, black widows puncture their insect prey with their fangs and administer digestive enzymes to the corpses. By using these enzymes, and their gnashing fangs, the spiders liquefy their prey’s bodies and suck up the resulting fluid.


Keywords to learn

Diaphragm: the primary muscle used in respiration, which is the process of breathing

About Me

Hey Kids, my name is Bailey the Black Widow spider and I am very happy to meet you. Learn more about me and my species




Key Data

  • Order:
  • Lifespan:
    1-3 years.
  • Class:
  • Scientific name:
    Latrodectus mactans.
  • Mass:
    0.035 ounces.
  • Length:
    1.5 inches long; diameter of 0.25 inches.
  • Region Found:
    Primarily in the Northeast United States.
  • Population Status:
    Least Concern.
  • Current population trend:
  • Diet:
  • Sexual maturity:
    6-9 months.


As you know, Black Windows are aggressive and while dangerous with a nasty bite, the bite is not fatal. So, while you will not die from a bite from a Black Widow, the bites are quite nasty and painful, so.. be aware of them.


Now that you know more about the Black Widow spider by learning the key data above, be sure to also to check out the fun facts. When you are finished learning the facts, try answering the questions in the Q&A corner on the bottom right side of the page.



Download questions about the Black Widow Spider here: Black Widow (answers are on this page)


Teachers. For more in depth work sheets on the Black Widow spider. Click on Kidskonnect Worksheets

Black Widow Spider Fun Facts for Kids

  • # 1. Female Black Widows often eat the male after mating.
  • # 2. Black Widows can be found in every U.S state except Alaska.
  • # 3. A bite from a male Black Widow is harmless.
  • # 4. Black Widow venom is 15 times more toxic than some rattlesnakes.
  • # 5. Only the female Black Widows have the distinctive red hourglass on their abdomen.

Q&A Corner

  • # 1. Name 3 symptoms of a Black Widow bite?
  • # 2. How many Black Widow spiderlings can there be in an egg sack?
  • # 3. What class does the Black Widow belong to?
  • # 4. What state can Black Widows not be found?
  • # 5. How venomous is Black Widow venom compared to rattlesnake venom?


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