Thursday, May 6, 2010
SPIDER OF THE DAY
Females are 1-2" in diameter
Males much smaller
The female black widow is shiny black with a red hourglass on abdomen; however this does not always have to be the case. The red hourglass could take the form of a red dot or many variations of shapes.
The black widow is common in fields, woodpiles, and unoccupied dwellings. Black widows are found in every state except Alaska.
Black widow venom is primarily a neurotoxin, which as a rule does not cause local tissue death and destruction. Best known for widespread muscle spasm and often mimics that of a severe abdominal problem i.e. acute appendicitis, or ruptured ovarian cyst.
The initial bite is very painful, but can go unnoticed. The
surface of the skin may display two red bite wounds, one, or none. The worst pain is in the first 8-12 hours, symptoms may continue for several days.
All children, pregnant women and individuals with hypertension should be admitted to a hospital.
Antivenom is available.