Brown Widow Spiders’ Aggression Likely Driver of Black Widow Decline; New Study Shows Brown Widow Spiders Actively Seek and Kill Nearby Black Widows

Black widow spiders have earned a fearsome reputation for their venomous bite. But in parts of the southern United States these spiders have much to fear themselves—from spider relatives who really don't like their company. In the past couple of decades, researchers have noticed black widow spiders commonly being displaced by the brown widow, a fellow species in the same genus, Latrodectus. But new research suggests this isn't a just simple case of one species winning the competition for food or habitat. Instead, a study shows brown widow spiders have a striking propensity to seek out and kill nearby black widows.

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