Black Widow Spiders Essay

2393 Words Oct 20th, 1999 10 Pages
Adult black widow spiders have a shiny, black, rounded, circular abdomen and

are about 1/3 inch long (about 1-1/2 inches when their legs are spread).

Adult spiders have two reddish or yellowish triangles on their bottom which

looks like an hourglass marking, and their body color is dark colored usually

black or sometimes dark brown. They are usually recognized because of their

red or red-orange hourglass design on the bottom of their abdomen. This

pattern is changeable and may look like two separated spots. In some spiders

there is no pattern on the abdomen. The immature stages of both sexes of the

widow spiders have red or red-orange or yellow spots and strips on the top

of their abdomen. Females are colored gray
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When a black widow

spider bits you it injects a toxin that affects the nervous system. At

first, there may be only slight swelling and two faint red spots surrounded

by redness at the bite. Pain may be intense in one to three hours and could

stay for up to 48 hours. Pain usually starts from the bitten limb up or down

the arm or leg and then restrict in the abdomen and back. Also muscle and

chest pain or tightness in those areas are some common reactions to a black

widows toxin. The pain can also spread to the abdomen which causes cramping

and nausea. The abdominal muscles may become stiff and board-like with

severe cramps. There can be pain your muscles and soles of the feet and your

eyelids may become swollen. Other symptoms include restlessness, anxiety,

breathing and speech difficulty, tremors, vomiting and sweating. Swelling

can be noticed in extremities and eyelids but rarely at the place where you

are bit. Also there is a sense of discomfort after you are bitten, and some

symptoms increase in severity during the first day after you are bit. But

symptoms usually get better after two to three days but some mild symptoms

can continue for several weeks after you have recovered.

The bite that is usually the most dangerous a female bite. Although it is

very painful, fatalities from untreated black widow bites are uncommon.

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