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Latrodectus mac´tans a species found in the United States; commonly known as the black widow. Its bite may cause severe symptoms or even death. (For first aid, see spider bite.)
the black widow spider, a venomous jet-black spider found in protected dark places; it is especially common in the southern U.S.; the full-grown female (slightly more than 1 cm long) has a brilliant red dumbbell- or hourglass-shaped mark on the ventral aspect of the abdomen; her bite may be extremely painful, producing a syndrome mimicking an acute abdominal crisis; some deaths, though rare, have been reported, particularly in small children; the male spider lacks the hourglass mark and is not venomous.
Management Supportive—topical cleansing, ice, aspirin, opiate analgesics, hot baths, mild sedation, bed rest; for muscle spasms, calcium gluconate, methocarbamol or phenadrine; for hypertensive crises, short-acting antihypertensives; antivenin-Lyovac may be indicated in some patients