Sunday, May 18, 2014

False widow

Found at night crawling across the front drive of my house on 08/04/14. It looks like a Comb-footed spider of the Genus Steatoda. Almost certainly Steatoda grossa and often known as the false widow spider. As this poor spider gets a really bad press in this country and is often beaten to death for no apparent reason, I have copied this extract from

The abdomen of this false widow is a red-brown colour with a crescent shaped stripe at the front and three pale triangular spots along the top. These markings vary from spider to spider.  Sometimes they're cream coloured and sometimes they're purple or very dark brown.

In some cases the female is completely dark brown and frequently gets mistaken for the Black Widow (hence the common name).  The real Black Widow has a distinctive red marking on the base of the abdomen.

The press (and web) is littered with tales of how dangerous False Widos spiders are.  Every time someone gets bitten by one it creates a torrent of fear-inducing headlines.  These stories generally highlight cases where the victim has had an allergic, and sometimes life-threatening reaction - the same as those experienced by people who are allergic to bee stings.  For most people the bite from this spider feels something akin to a wasp sting.  Unpleasant, but not deadly.

This is just one of the species found in the UK with the common name of 'false widow'.  It's also sometimes called the Cupboard Spider. 


Post a Comment

<< Home