Western black widows are like most arachnids in that they feed primarily on insects. Because of sticky substances in the silk of a web, black widows are able to catch their prey. The web is made of coarse silk.
The diet of L. hesperus includes beetles, cockroaches, and flies. Black widows kill by means of very small, hollow fangs through which they inject a poisionous venom into their prey. Black widows make small punctures all over the body of their prey, and then proceed to suck out the liquid contents. Because the black widows only take food in the form of liquid, the insect is not fully digested. However, digestive juices of the spider are injected into the insect prey, helping to make more of the prey item edible to the spider. Black widows leave behind the external skeleton of prey insects. These empty shells can be seen near the spider's web. A female black widow may occasionally cannibalize males of the species after mating.
Animal Foods: body fluids; insects; terrestrial non-insect arthropods
Primary Diet: carnivore (Insectivore )