The White Widow spider can be found in the steppes of southern Russia, Kazakhstan, and other southwest Asian countries while also inhabiting the desert regions of the Middle East. Compared to other widow spiders in the region, the white widow spider is comparatively rare.
White widow spider: Identification.
Dark hues characterize most widow spiders; however, the white widow spider is quite the opposite. As its name implies, the white widow features light tones ranging from beige to white, with darker legs for contrast.
In addition, it differs significantly in appearance compared to other related arachnids, such as black widows and redback spiders, due to its lack of bright red markings found on them – Lactrodectus tredecimguttatus being an exception here. Otherwise, it carries similar traits to other members of the genus Latrodectus family.
White widow spiders: Mating behavior.
White widow spiders are a prime example of males committing to a single mating. These arachnids tend to live alongside female counterparts for extensive periods, putting effort into courtship displays that require large amounts of energy expenditure and sometimes even fall victim to cannibalism following reproduction.
Male white widow spiders usually have smaller bodies than females due to not feeding after reaching maturity; instead, they use their lifetime to pursue potential mates.
Are White widow spiders dangerous?
All species of Latrodectus, including the white widow spider, have venomous bites that can be hazardous to humans.
While it is not as toxic as other species, such as Lantrans mactans (black widow) or Lantrans hasselti, the bite from a white widow spider should still be taken seriously. Indeed, bites on children and those in weak health conditions are potentially fatal.
Research studies conclude that the toxins contained in white widow spider venom are similar to those found in L. tredecimguttatus – nonetheless, they remain moderately venomous. This makes the white widow spider more dangerous than most spiders encountered around Southern Europe, where this particular breed originates.
Further recommended reading about spiders.
Spider pages: Learn how to identify and avoid these spiders.