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"The female of the species is more deadly than the male." - Rudyard Kipling

Kipling knew,or thought he did. But is the female deadlier? It is true of many creatures, including the mosquito (the male is not a bloodsucker) and the humble midge, though neither of their bites will kill you directly, though mosquitos can pass on diseases such as malaria and West Nile Virus. It is not true of the infamous and notorious black widow spider (which rarely preys on its mate), nor the praying mantis (which has rarely been seen to devour its mate outside of captivity).

Of course, the belief that all females are deadly is based upon the same patriarchal thinking that led to the medieval witch trials, more to do with the desire to remove women from their previously powerful (and vital) medical role in society.

I will not comment on whether or not this still applies to females of Homo Sapiens, just in case one of them hunts me down.

A thousand thundering thrills await me
Facing insurmontable odds gratefully
The female of the species is more deadly than the male

I rest my case.

Lyrics by Space, from the album Spiders
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_widow_spider#Reproduction

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