Black widow spiders
Probably the most well-known, and most feared, of all the spider species, is the black widow spider. Found in temperate regions around the world, this spider is recognised by its red hourglass markings on its round, shiny black abdomen.
As is common in the natural world, the female of the species is more deadly than the male (as the song goes). These spiders have nasty venom, and if bitten, you can expect to experience nausea, muscle aches, weakness, chills, a fever and most terrifyingly, a paralysis of the diaphragm, making breathing very difficult indeed.
They don’t often bite humans unless provoked. But provoking can mean innocently putting on your shoe, that happens to have been board and lodgings for a black widow spider overnight. Or hauling old furniture you have stored in a garage and upsetting a black widow spider nest. So beware!
Surprisingly, despite accounts to the contrary, a bite from a black widow spider is unlikely to kill you, unless you’re very young, very old or very ill. However, it is true that the female black widow spider does, on accession, kill and eat her male mate after mating with him.