In the USSR there are two species of the genus Karakurt Latrodectus, found in the steppe and desert area of Central Asia, in the Crimea, the Caucasus, Ukraine, Moldova, the Lower Volga region, on the border with Iran and Afghanistan.

Fig. 5. Sexually mature females karakurt:
left more than average, the right to starve.

Externally, the male and female not similar. Male fewer females in size (0.4-0.7 cm). The female reaches a length of 1-2 cm of its intense black color, with one or two red-orange or yellowish, orange or reddish spots on the sides of the spider unit (Fig. 5). Cephalothorax relatively flattened, pear-shaped, front 8 eyes — two slightly curved anterior series. The legs are covered with abundant short, turned-up hair. The male body with a long slender abdomen, thin and long legs. Coloring lighter than females, and on the abdomen are bright red spots with a white rim.
Karakurt live among the different crops on non-irrigated land, abandoned irrigation ditches, vacant lots, clay walls corral more time — at low, smooth hills.
Pubescent males and females come into copulation (third decade of June). At the time the toils of females males hang motionless in a characteristic pose. From time to time, they are animated, chase each other, fight and "caring" for the female: the most active male drives the other to the periphery, where they take the position expectations carefully approaches the female, is in a state of heavy braking (catalepsy), squats, doing kind of a marriage of dance and shake slightly gossamer thread, then straightens his emblyusa spiral and one of the pedipalps firmly puts it to female copulatory opening, slowly sinking in the genital tract. After a few seconds, the female leaves the catalepsy breaks spider thread and captures a still male chelicerae, on which in a minute is a shapeless lump. The female cleans legs, stretches the thread and slipping into catalepsy, waiting for his next victim. Therefore, it was called the "black widow."
Not throwing snares, the female in early May makes cocoons, and from August to mid September to lay their eggs. Fall, she dies, leaving 1 to 13 cocoons size 7-15 mm, in each cocoon is usually about 50-60 eggs (PI Marikovskii, 1956), of which the 5-7th day spiders appear first age: through some days they fade and go to the second (advanced) age, and already possessing spider yadonosnym apparatus. In winter they hibernate until spring remain in a compact group. In late March and early April, with an ambient temperature of 15-20 ° C and the surface to 30 ° C, in the mist net collected one or more piles of spiders, no eating, they willingly drink dew and crawl to a new location. After traveling deposited in selected locations, spreading Tenet. Their prosperity and fertility, according to PI Marikovskii (1956), depends on a variety of Orthoptera and Coleoptera, as in starvation — large woodlice. Karakurt tolerates starvation stationary (in the laboratory for about 3 months).
Female migration is usually in the evening, at night or early in the morning, afternoon, they sit on the toils and eat insects trapped in the web.

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