LOS ANGELES, CA - Black Widow spiders are known for being ruthless, and females sometimes eat males after mating. But you know who a Black Widow spider does care about? Her babies - who also have some serious cannibalistic tendencies when it comes to their brothers and sisters.
In an attempt to discover why Black Widows are thriving in urban environments, a recent study published in Animal Behavior looked at what happened when researchers staggered the development of eggs, working against the mother who tries to have her eggs hatch at the same time. When the tiniest spiderlings were put together with their siblings who were just a few days older, it turned into a spider feast.
But do the findings hold the key to controlling the Black Widow population? 250 well-fed Black Widow cannibals might be worse than twice as many smaller Black Widows. The bigger they are, the faster they reproduce and the worse their bite.
Why is it always the cockroaches and venomous arachnids that aren’t affected by climate change and loss of habitat?