What Do Black Widow Eggs Look Like? All the Details!

Black widows are infamous venomous spiders noted for their distinctive black coloration and red hourglass-shaped markings on their abdomens. These spiders typically dwell in dark corners, crevices, and sheds, and they can build nests with silky webs to catch prey. However, even though most people are aware of the black widow spider’s distinctive appearance, many are less knowledgeable about the spider’s reproductive cycle. Knowing what black widow spider eggs look like can help you identify the presence of the spider in your home, backyard, or vicinity.

What Are Black Widow Spiders?

Black widow spiders belong to the family Theridiidae, and they are scientifically known as Latrodectus. There are around 32 different species of black widow spiders that are spread across the world. The most common species include the southern black widow (Latrodectus mactans), the western black widow (Latrodectus hesperus), the northern widow (Latrodectus variolus), and the brown widow (Latrodectus geometricus). These spiders are typically found in warm and dry regions and can live up to three years. They are easily identifiable due to their distinctive jet-black color and the signature hourglass-shaped reddish-orange mark on their abdomen.

What Does a Black Widow Egg Sac Look Like?

Female black widows lay eggs in spherical sacs, which are typically white or off-white in color and are around the size of a marble. These egg sacs are usually made of silky threads and hold about 200-900 eggs per sac. The female builds a web-like sac for this purpose by wrapping it in plants or debris.

What Are the Characteristics of Black Widow Spider Eggs?

Black widow spider eggs are round and white, with a texture like a ping pong ball. The eggs are around .25 inches in diameter, and they are usually situated in an egg sac, which is typically white or off-white in color. The offspring usually hatch within three weeks after the eggs are laid.

How Long Does It Take for Black Widow Spider Eggs to Hatch?

The exact duration of black widow spider eggs is dependant on the species but can range from 20 days to one month. Eggs from western black widows (Latrodectus hesperus) tend to hatch in about 20 days, while eggs from other species, like the southern black widow (Latrodectus mactans), hatch in approximately one month. Once the spiderlings come out of the egg sac, they are tiny and light-colored, and they spread out a silken thread so they can float off on the breeze to nearby locations.

Can Black Widow Spider Eggs Be Dangerous to Humans?

Black widow spider eggs are not known to cause any significant harm to humans. However, it is advisable to stay away from the egg sacs and the spiders themselves as the female black widow can be aggressive when it comes to protecting her eggs from potential threats. Black widow spiders carry venom, which is dangerous to humans and other animals. Their venom is usually 15 times more potent than a rattlesnake’s venom. Therefore, it is crucial to be cautious when handling these spiders or getting too close to their offsprings.

Conclusion

In conclusion, understanding what black widow spider eggs look like can be essential in identifying the presence of these spiders in your area. The eggs are round and white with a texture resembling a ping pong ball. They are typically encapsulated in white or off-white egg sacs, which could hold between 200-900 spiderlings. While black widow spider eggs are not dangerous to humans, it is crucial to leave this spider and their offsprings alone, as they can deliver a harmful bite. To avoid encountering black widows altogether, be sure to wear gloves when searching for them, check shoes before putting them on, and clean out cluttered storage areas regularly.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a black widow spider?

    A black widow spider is a venomous spider that typically dwells in hidden corners, crevices, and sheds. They are easily identifiable due to their distinctive jet-black color and the signature hourglass-shaped reddish-orange mark on their abdomen.

  • What do black widow spider eggs look like?

    Black widow spider eggs are round and white, with a texture similar to a ping pong ball. They are usually located in white or off-white egg sacs, which are made of silky threads and hold about 200-900 eggs per sac.

  • How long does it take for black widow spider eggs to hatch?

    The incubation period for black widow spider eggs depends on the species, but it can range from 20 days to one month. Once the spiderlings pop out of the egg sac, they are tiny and light-colored, and they spread out a silken thread to float off on the breeze to nearby locations.

  • Are black widow spider eggs dangerous to humans?

    Black widow spider eggs are not dangerous to humans. However, it’s crucial to stay away from the egg sacs and the spiders themselves, as the female black widow can be aggressive when it comes to protecting her eggs from potential threats.

  • How to identify if black widow spiders are in your area?

    Spotting a black widow spider in your area is easy. Keep an eye for their distinctive jet-black color, the signature hourglass-shaped reddish-orange mark on their abdomen, and their silken webs.

References

Black Widow Spiders 101. (2021). Retrieved July 24, 2021, from https://www.orkin.com/other/spiders/black-widow-spiders/#:~:text=What%20do%20black%20widow%20spider,850%20or%20so%20for%20eggs

Black widow spider. (2021). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_widow_spider

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