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Black Widow Spider Care Sheets
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Care Sheet for Spiders

Average Rating Given To This Care Sheet Is 3.78    (1=lowest, 5=highest)    Last Updated: 05/16/2004

Main Category:

Non-Reptile/Amphibian

Sub Category:

Spiders

 Care Sheet Submitted By:

FrogFreak

Years Experience:

3 to 5 Years

Species:

Black Widow Spider

Other Species or Phases this Care Sheet May Cover:

Black Widow Spider

Sexing and Characteristics:

Female is much larger than the male, usually glossy black and has a very visible red hourglass shape on its abdomen. However, some widows do not have the hourglass mark even at full maturity, and a few even have two unconnected red spots where the hourglass shape would be.

Mostly Active During:

Night

Substrate and Water Needs:

Itís best to match the habitat most closely to the area in which you found the spider. Ours prefer a wood bark/mulch as substrate, a cotton ball soaked with water for humidity/moisture. We also make sure to add a couple of sticks for webbing, climbing, etc.

Lighting and UVB:

No lighting necessary.

Temperatures and Humidity:

No heating necessary - unless in extreme cold conditions. We live in the desert so the habitat is naturally between 65-80 degrees year-round. Again, the preference of the spider will be dependent upon its original natural surroundings as well.

Heating and Equipment:

See above.

Caging Provided:

We have used a 1.5 gallon hext tank as well as a simple clear (Arrowhead brand is best shape/size) 1 gallon water bottle with screening at the top for air. You need to make sure that the screen is very fine and that there is no way for the spider to get out... for obvious reasons.

Diet:

Carnivorous

Description of Diet:

Crickets or flies are preferred, although we have substituted very active wax worms a few times. Prey must be actively moving to catch the attention of the spider for feeding.

Supplements, Nutrition and Usage:

Dust crickets liberally for feeding.

Maintenance:

You need to make sure that IF the female lays an egg sac that you remove the sac from the habitat. The mother will either eat the babies or they will eat her. Same goes with a male - if you add a male spider in with the female, she will mate and then kill him - or sometimes, just kill him.

If you DO have babies you need to be careful. They can get out of the habitat very quickly and much more easily than the mother. Donít be fooled by their appearance. Hatchlings appear white, white and black striped, brown, gray or a variety of other non-typical black widow colors. They darken, lose stripes & markings, etc. as they mature. Babies are born with full-strength venom, so be warned that they are not to be handled.

Some Words on this Species:

Obviously the black widow spider can be a dangerous pet to keep. You should do lots of research before ever keeping one in your home. People who are allergic to bee stings are much more likely to have a major reaction from black widow bites than those who are not. However, reactions can happen to ANYONE. Again, great care much be used when keeping such dangerous pets.
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DISCLAIMER:
The information contain in these care sheets represents only the opinions and husbandry care of members and therefore is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate or reflects the advice or opinions of RepticZone.com. It is always advised to seek additional information or the advice of a qualified veterinarian or qualified reptile dealer. It is also advisable for you to a good amount of research before implementing any of the ideas and care described in these care sheets. We also recommend you ask many questions in their related forums before acting on any information.

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