Spider Bio: Latrodectus Hesperus (Western Black Widow)

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Genus: Latrodectus
Species: L. Hesperus
Common Name: Western Black Widow Spider
Size: 1/2 Inch (14 to 16 millimeters)

The latrodectus hesperus (more commonly known as the western black widow) is a venomous species of spider that’s typically found in the western parts of the US, but have been found elsewhere. In rare instances, the typically red hourglass will instead be yellow or white. The population was once described as a subspecies of latrodectus mactans (the southern black widow), and it is very closely related to the latrodectus variolus (northern black widow). The species is known for its “messy webs”. The stereotypical cannibalistic nature of the black widow is not as common in the western widow, but it is not unheard of. Latrodectus hesperus silk is among the strongest of all spider webs.


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