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One of the most notorious venomous spiders in the world is the black widow. It may not be the most deadly, but it may be the most well known. There are a few species of black widow, but pretty much all of them are known by their shockingly black bodies with a bright red hourglass shape. And when you put one under a strong microscope, the creepiness just gets intensified. A Reddit user happened to have access to an SEM (scanning electron microscope) and put a male and female black widow underneath it…
The female black widow’s dangerous venom is composed of neurotoxins.
These spiders build messy and irregular webs.
Unless you’re a researcher, you might not get close to these spiders.
Because they, in all ways, are some of the creepiest creatures you’ll ever see.
That’s why some scientists decided to get a closer look under a SEM.
The pair of Latrodectus hesperus spiders, male and female, “volunteered” to be a part of this study. The name comes from Greek, and means “the bearer of night, who bites in secret.”
The male of the species is small and brown, and the common thinking is that their fangs can’t penetrate the skin, so they aren’t dangerous to humans.
The scientist looking at the spiders had to get the excess moisture and gases out of the spiders. He used a desiccator, which is under a vacuum. Before viewing under the SEM, the bugs had to be gold coated, to allow for proper electron travel.
The machine the spiders are put into will rotate in almost any direction to help take the pictures.
What you see are the male spider’s beautiful baby blues (well, not really blue).
The male’s chelicerae and fangs. Remember that rumor about how they were supposed to be shorter than the female’s, so it couldn’t bite you? Well, the male can bite, it just can’t inject as much venom.
His foot has 3 claws. The red-highlighted ones are for walking and climbing on surfaces. The smooth blue is for clinging to strands of web.
A dorsal view of the male spider.
The pedipalps on a spider are similar to feelers or antennae. Or in the case of the male, the reproductive organ.
A ventral view of the spider.
Spigots on one of his spinnerets, this is where the silk comes out.
Spinnerets, each covered in spigots.
After capture, the male spider was placed in a jar filled with alcohol. At some point, he began trying to spin an escape route, which was preserved beautifully and visible under the SEM.
These are the female’s eyes.
The female died in a difficult position to get any good views on her fangs, but they are highlighted here.
These are the girl’s pedipalps.
Looking at a Black Widow, you would assume they’re smooth, shiny, and sleek. Instead, the harsh reality is that they are just as hairy and grotesque as a tarantula.
This is their book lungs.
Spiders don’t breathe like we do. Haemolymph (spider blood) sits in the spaces inside their “book lung” structures, and oxygen is exchanged through diffusion. This is an adaptation in a species designed for extended pursuit. Spiders will never tire. … and you’re welcome for all of the nightmares you will most likely have tonight. Source: reddit.com Share these incredible photos with others. They may be creepy, but they are indescribably cool.