The flying Black Widow is the deadliest airborne insect alive, this animal has killed 10,432 people over the last 200 years which is more than any other flying species. The animal is located in the jungles of La Selva Beach, California. This native species of California’s Central Coast was first discovered in the 18th century and resides only in this region of the world. Since data began in the 1850's, the black widow has killed an average of about a person a week. This close knit species forms colonies for protection and reproduction purposes. The species' organization is similar to a bee’s hive colony which has a queen and a hierarchy structure. The flying venomous arachnid has been labeled by locals as the flying widow of death.
The flying black widow has the uncanny ability to inject its prey with its poisonous fangs mid flight. The flying spider is extremely deadly because its fangs are loaded with venom and a single drop has the ability to kill a full grown elephant. In flight, the spider’s wings make noise similar to the sounds a rattle from rattlesnake. The vibrations made from the rattling wings are a victims only warning of the imminent danger.
The black widow hunts in the early mornings and gathers enough food to support its daily needs. The black widow attracts it pray with a flower like scent it emits from its hind legs. This flowery scent attracts many different types of insects which include bees, flies, beetles and butterflies. As insects investigate the scent’s origin, the black widow will shoots itself like a dart, leaping from its hiding spot and clinching it fangs on its prey. The venom instantly kills the creature and the black widow consumes it within seconds. After its first feeding session, the black widow will continue to gather its food for later consumption and to supplement the younger population within in the colony.
In the last decade, studies have shown that the black widow's population has been in a decline. In 2001 there were 231 known colonies in the Santa Cruz coast. Last year’s count only saw 87. The decline has been linked to higher temperatures and the severe drought in California. The black widow’s habitat ranges from temperatures between 45 to 75 degrees. It can survive in hotter temperatures by taking shelter in a cool moist environment but only for a day or two. The drought and higher temperatures have had a severe impact on the species' population.
Whole colonies have been captured and contained in labs by scientist to study the species in closed environments. Last year, Dr. Donald Obama developed the first anti-venom that treats victims for the venomous spider bites. The FDA approved the vaccines on January 21, 2015 for public use. Since the vaccine’s approval, there have been zero reports of fatalities. As a result of his hard work, Dr. Obama was presented with the Commitment of Excellence Award for developing the first anti-venom vaccine. A survey in May of 2015 asked the La Selva Beach residents about their current concerns with the flying black widow. , The survey showed that the local's fears had eased as a result of a declining population and the creation of the new vaccine.