Steatoda
(False Widows)

Picture ID 99777

Picture of Steatoda (False Widows) - Lateral

Comments & ID Thoughts

I initially saw it in the dark and thought it was a black widow, but clearly isn't. It keeps to my bathroom window, catches little spiders and bugs, comes out at night, and goes back into the window corner during the day. The little guy has been around for about a month now, I'm not so concerned about it but curious what it is, any help would be greatly appreciated!

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TangledWeb

Hi, it looks like a False Widow in genus Steatoda. We use the dorsal markings to tell the species apart by photo. A common one in California is Steatoda nobilis. They are in the same family as Black Widows and Brown Widows, but False Widows aren’t dangerous to people. As you noticed, they do kill other spiders along with insects. Their venom is potent in that way. At least one species of False Widow in your area, Steatoda grossa, can kill and eat Brown Widows. The Brown Widows can kill Black Widows. Spiders are quite fine with canabalism.

TangledWeb

Everything we want a spider to do! These are some of my favorites. I have Steatoda borealis in my house and I’m going to bring more indoors from my compost bin in the Spring. This is the only kind of spider that I’ve seen catch mosquitoes in the house. We have 2 or 3 deadly mosquito vectored viruses here in NH. False Widows are great at catching flies too. Meanwhile, in the UK, their media are promoting hysteria about False Widows with false news stories about these spiders chasing and killing or crippling people. People in the UK are getting… Read more »

TangledWeb

Here’s a great article from the UK’s “The Guardian” https://www.theguardian.com/environment/blog/2013/oct/17/false-widow-spider-attack The mission statement of spiderID.com is to fight this sort of problem with straightforward facts. We get to tell people they aren’t going to be chased down the street by killer spiders, but the bad news is that their media is getting away with lying. Gotta be careful to avoid hypocrisy there. 🙁 You can handle your spider gently. The article actually says just to avoid rough handling. They move toward perceived darkness. I put my black phone in front of a False Widow to take its photo and it… Read more »

Additional Pictures

Picture of Steatoda spp. (False Widows) - Ventral Enlarge Picture
Picture of Steatoda spp. (False Widows) - Lateral Enlarge Picture
Picture of Steatoda spp. (False Widows) - Male - Dorsal Enlarge Picture
Picture of Steatoda spp. (False Widows) Enlarge Picture