White karakurt is one of the most dangerous creatures on earth. Despite the fact that outwardly it does not seem so threatening, the poison of this arthropod is deadly.
In this regard, the bite of a spider for animals such as a horse or shelter will definitely end in death. For a person, an insect bite can also be fatal if the necessary amount of qualified medical care is not provided in a timely manner. However, researchers and scientists argue that the poison of the white karakurt is somewhat less dangerous than the black representative of this species.
Origin of the species and description
White karakurt belongs to arachnids arthropod, is a representative of the order of spiders, the family of spiders – spiders, allocated to the genus of the black widow, the species white karakurt.
Scientists do not have reliable information about the origin of these representatives of arthropods. The most ancient finds of distant ancestors of karakurts belong to the Carboniferous age, which is about four hundred million years ago. They are rightfully considered representatives of one of the most ancient living creatures preserved on earth.
Video: White Karakurt
Some scientists suggest that the most ancient ancestors of modern poisonous spiders, including karakurts, lived in the water. However, during the Paleozoic period, they moved into thickets of huge grass and impenetrable shrubs. In thickets of dense vegetation, they hunted various insects. Later, spiders appeared that could weave a web and entangle eggs with it for protection.
Interesting information. The strength of the poisonous substance of the poison of the karakurt is 50 times the strength of the poison of the karakurt and 15 times the strength of the poison of the rattlesnake.
Approximately two hundred and fifty million years ago, arthropods appeared who learned to weave webs to create traps. With the onset of the Jurassic period, spiders learned to weave multiple webs and hang them in dense foliage. Arthropods used a long, thin tail to make webs.
Spiders spread widely across the land during the formation of Pangnea. Later, they began to be divided into species depending on the region of their habitat.
Appearance and features
White karakurt really looks ominous. It inspires fear, and what is most terrible, thanks to its color, it goes unnoticed. A distinctive feature of this particular type of arachnid is the body in the form of a large ball, as well as long and thin limbs. There are four pairs of limbs. The first and last pair of legs are the longest. This spider is the only one of its kind that has a white, grayish or yellowish tint.
Compared to black widows, white widows do not have an hourglass pattern. On the surface of the back you can see four small depressions in the shape of a rectangle.
The lower part of the body is always white, or milky in color. The rest of the body may be gray or yellowish. These arthropods have pronounced sexual dimorphism – males are significantly inferior to females in size. The size of the female can reach 2.5 centimeters, while the size of the male does not exceed 0.5-0.8 centimeters.
The head is small, much smaller than the body, most often brown. Chelicerae are located on the head, which are highly powerful and can easily bite through the chitinous shell of even large locusts. In the back of the abdomen there are several arachnoid warts through which the web is released into the environment.
The white karakurt has a body structure typical of all other arachnids. It is divided into two parts – the cephalothorax and the abdomen. Each of them contains vital organs. In the cephalothorax are located: a gland that secretes a poisonous secret, esophagus, sucking stomach, food outgrowths, anterior aorta.
The abdomen contains:
- Spider gland;
- Female’s ovaries;
- Posterior aorta.
Where does the white karakurt live?
There is an opinion that the white karakurt lives only in the deserted regions of the Naimb desert. However, this is not true. Changing climatic conditions have led to the expansion and change in the habitat of white karakurt.
Geographic regions of habitat of arachnids:
- Southern regions of the Russian Federation;
- Northern part of the African continent;
- Southern Ukraine;
White karakurts prefer the area where there is little rainfall, and there are no big frosts. A favorite habitat are steppes, ditches, ravines. They try to avoid flat, open territories in every possible way. Like the vast majority of arachnids, it chooses secluded, inaccessible places.
He likes to hide in the holes of small rodents, crevices, in the gaps between the walls, and other remote, secluded corners. Karakurt do not tolerate severe frosts and harsh climate. They try to avoid excessive moisture, too bright areas, as well as too hot climate.
It is quite possible to meet white karakurt on the territory of plowed farmlands, abandoned or residential buildings, in attics, under the roofs of houses and sheds.
What does the white karakurt eat?
Power source of white karakurt – insects that get caught in the web woven by it.
What is the food source:
- Small arthropods;
- Small rodents.
White karakurts have an extraintestinal structure of the digestive tract. When a victim enters the web, he pierces her body in several places and injects a poisonous secret in such a way that the victim’s insides are completely digested by the poison. After that, the spiders eat the liquid part of the body of their prey.
For catching insects, a horizontal web is most often used. It is characteristic that the web does not differ in a typical trapezoid pattern, but has a chaotic arrangement of threads that does not add up to any pattern. White karakurt can make several such webs of traps. Most often they are placed among the foliage in such a way that for most insects or small rodents it remains invisible. Often they leave such traps in holes, small depressions in the ground.
The process of assimilation of food proceeds quite quickly, since almost everything has already been digested under the influence of a poisonous secret. Among the variety of food sources, locusts and grasshoppers are distinguished and preferred. White karakurts literally manage to live without food, or eat a very modest amount of food. Almost without food, white karakurts can live for about 10-12 months.
Character and lifestyle features
White karakurts are active regardless of the time of day or weather conditions. They can be active and go out in search of food, as well as to eat it both in the light and in the dark. Males are less active. They use webs to make traps. Spiders spin it not in the form of certain shapes and figures, but by simply winding threads. It can get food like a hunter, that is, hiding behind bushes or in thickets of dense vegetation.
Burrows of small rodents, cracks in walls, ceilings, depressions in the soil, pits, etc. .d. These representatives of arachnids have a very acute hearing. That is why human bites have been reported. Spiders react sharply to incomprehensible noise and, in order to protect themselves, try to attack first. Due to the fact that a person, when meeting with him, becomes a source of unnecessary noise, the spiders attack them in order to protect themselves.
They do not tolerate frost and severe heat. In the spring-summer period, large migrations are observed in the habitat regions. They are associated with the fact that spiders are trying to escape from extreme heat. After the white karakurt finds a secure shelter, the females weave it with a web and begin to prepare for the appearance of offspring.
Social structure and reproduction
The period of marriage in this representative of arthropods is seasonal and begins in the middle – end of the summer period. Males try to attract the attention of the opposite sex with the help of special pheromones. In selected shelters, females hang poutine. This is necessary so that young individuals can gain a foothold on the web and fly away in search of their home. After the end of the mating season, the female lays eggs. Their number can reach 130-140 pieces.
When the autumn season comes, the female dies. Laid eggs independently wait for spring in selected secluded holes in other shelters. In the spring, with the arrival of the wind, which helps to get rid of the egg shell and give birth to young individuals. The hatched spiders do not scatter in different directions, but calmly remain in the hole in order to get stronger and acquire the necessary skills for independent survival. For this period, they have enough food that their mother has prepared in reserve.
After the maternal reserves are depleted, the spiders begin to actively eat each other. As a result, only the strongest individuals survive. They leave the cocoon only next spring, and by the summer of the same year they become sexually mature. White karakurt is considered a very prolific representative of arachnids. The female can give birth up to two times a year.
Natural enemies of white karakurt
Despite the fact that these representatives of arthropods are practically the most dangerous in the world, they still have enemies in natural conditions, these are:
- Small livestock – sheep, goats. They are not affected by the poisonous arthropod secretion;
- Wasps — sphexes. They tend to attack karakurt with lightning speed, and inject their poisonous secret into them;
- Insects are riders. They tend to lay eggs in the cocoons of a given member of the arthropod family;
- Hedgehogs. Unaffected by poisonous secretion.
Most often, farmers who fear the mass destruction of cattle due to the bites of white karakurt first allow sheep or goats to graze on a certain pasture. These animals are not sensitive to their bites, therefore they are often practically used in order to secure a pasture for grazing cattle.
In some regions there are a large number of arthropods that can destroy a whole herd of cows.
Population and species status
Despite the fact that small domestic animals trample down the white karakurt in large quantities, the species is not threatened with extinction. In connection with the expansion of the territories mastered by man and the change in climatic conditions, it is somewhat expanding and changing. The researcher was not able to establish what is the number of white karakurt today, but they argue that they are not threatened with complete extinction from the face of the earth.
In Africa, in Central Asia, this type of spider is very common. In addition, climate change and goats in large numbers also do not have a significant impact on the number of individuals, the white karakurt is not marked with any status and is not listed in the Red Book. Due to the ability to give large offspring every 10-15 years, the population of these representatives of the population is completely restored.
The white karakurt is a dangerous and poisonous spider. Residents of regions in which it occurs naturally should be extremely careful, avoid walking barefoot, lying on bare ground. If suddenly an insect bite occurs, you should immediately seek medical help.