Bachelors beware! On a dinner date with a female black widow spider, the male can wind up becoming the main course.
Like many spiders, this femme fatale sits in her web, her tool for everything.
There she waits for food to come to her.
That's not as easy as it sounds.
She has eight eyes, but barely uses them.
She perceives much of her world through her hairy legs.
She finds her prey mainly by sensing vibrations along her web.
Then she charges blindly across her high-wire grid.
First she bites.
Neurotoxins paralyze the struggling moth.
Digestive enzymes turn its insides into goo.
Then she wraps it up.
Her back legs pull silk from her spinneret and encase the moth.
The wrapping keeps the spider out of harm's way, and if she's already eaten, it preserves the moth for a later meal.
There are no forks and knives in spider-land.
And no teeth either.
Instead, she sucks up the insides of her bug burrito as a liquid lunch.
Even a male of the species is fair game.
He approaches her with an eight-toe dance step that vibrates her web with a clear message: "I'm your boyfriend, not your breakfast."
She lets him approach.
He spools his sperm into her.
But once his dance moves are over, so is he.
She can't help herself. It's just too easy.