|Black widow spider dorsal view - Click to enlarge|
Unlike the way we were traditionally taught, the female black widow doesn't commonly eat its mate, the basis of its name "widow." Any insect or other prey, including other spiders, will set off a vibration by their touching the web. The research, published in Frontiers in Zoology, found that the male black widow consistently produced a distinctive web vibration, creating low-amplitude ‘whispers’ of love. This gives a whole new meaning to the term "safe sex."
|Black widow egg cases - click to enlarge|
|Black widow egg cases and spiderlings - click to enlarge|
|Black widow spiderlings - click to enlarge|
More detailed information on L. mactans is at www.spiders.us.