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The name "widow" may be related to the fact that the male is so small and insignificant as to be unnoticed, but there's also the fact that the female spider widows herself. The story was that she eats the male after mating, but, according to a researcher I heard recently on Australia's Radio National, she in fact eats a good part of him during mating. His body is so arranged that parts necessary to keeping him alive remain undamaged while she snacks on his abdomen.