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Spider Photos - Steatoda or Steadota

There seems to be some question as to which version - Steadota or Steatoda is correct. I have found it both ways so will make mention here of this anomaly so that my viewers are aware that they may see it either way. Spiders of the genus Steadota/Steatoda belong to the spider family Theridiidae, or the cobweb weavers. Also known as Combfooted Spiders, this family includes a number of well known arachnids, including the American house spider, Achaearanea tepidariorum, and the redback and widow spiders, Latrodectus spp.. Steatoda spiders are found throughout the world, in both temperate and tropical climates. They are small to moderately small (3-9 mm) spiders with oval abdomens; they may be reddish, brownish or black, with most species exhibiting a white band at the front of the dorsal abdomen which may resemble a collar. These spiders construct a strong, irregular web, somewhat resembling the webs of widow spiders; this web is very sticky, making it a highly effective snare for hobo spiders which they are very good at catching. Steadota/Steatoda grossa, the false black widow spider  is the most well known of the Steadota/Steatoda spiders. Found in cosmopolitan areas around the world, and on both coasts of the United States, grossa is a larger (9 mm) Steadota/Steatoda which, as its common name suggests, may resemble a black widow spider (with no hourglass). Specimens can be reddish to purplish brown in colour, with pale yellow markings on the dorsal abdomen, but many specimens are so dark that these pale markings cannot be distinguished. Steadota/Steatoda grossa is a common and well known "house spider" in many areas, constructing its webs in and around buildings, rock walls, and other structures. It has long been known that the "false black widow" will ensnare, kill and prey upon actual black widow spiders in its natural habitat. The bite of the common comb footed spider causes mild local pain unlike the redback/widow spiders whose bites should be treated immediately with antivenom, especially in a young child.
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(Steatoda nobilis)(
Steatoda Paykulliana) (Steatoda grossa) (Steatoda triangulosa)(Steatoda borealis)

The false widow spiders belong to the genus, or group, called Steatoda . There are six species of Steatoda found in the UK including one introduced species, Steatoda nobilis. In the UK, Steatoda nobilis are referred to as false widows, in the USA, it is Steatoda grossa that are called by this name. This group of spiders get their name because they look similar to the true black widow group of spiders, genus Latrodectus. However Steatoda are significantly less harmful to humans. Steatoda are shaped similarly to widow spiders, with round, bulbous abdomens. However, not all Steatoda species resemble widows many have distinct coloring, and are significantly smaller than Latrodectus specimens. Some species of Steatoda actually will prey on widows, as well as other spiders which are considered hazardous to humans. In common with other members of the Theridiidae family, the Steatoda spiders construct a cobweb, i.e., an irregular tangle of sticky silken fibres. As with other web-weavers, these spiders have very poor eyesight and depend mostly on vibrations reaching them through their webs to orient themselves to prey or warn them of larger animals that could injure or kill them. They are not aggressive, and most injuries to humans are due to defensive bites delivered when a spider gets unintentionally squeezed or pinched somehow. It is possible that some bites may result when a spider mistakes a finger thrust into its web for its normal prey, but ordinarily intrusion by any large creature will cause these spiders to flee.  Some members of this genus do have bites which are medically significant in humans (such as S. grossa and S. nobilis), however bites by Steatoda species generally do not have any long-lasting effects.

S. nobilis is native to the Canary Islands but arrived in England in around 1870 through bananas sent to Torquay. In England it has a reputation as one of the few local spider species which is capable of inflicting a painful bite to humans - although this is a comparatively rare occurrence.

Steatoda Grossa - UK Steatoda Grossa - USA Steatoda Grossa - Other
Steatoda triangulosa Steatoda nobilis  Steatoda Paykulliana
Steatoda bipunctata Other Steatoda


Steadota  nobilis

Click for a larger view

25 September, 2014:
What species

Reply: At least one species in your photos is a false widow, steatoda nobilis - glen

5 November, 2013:
hi Glen. we found these spiders over a course of weeks in the house and just out side. can u identify? thank u

Click for a larger view

30 October, 2013:
Hi There, I will be honest I am not a big spider lover, but I never kill them, i just move them along. I have attached a picture with 2 spiders on, the top one is the one i am asking about, could you identify it for me please. The second one is a false widow that we were comparing it to. No harm came to the spider, i just moved it away from our work flat lol. you are welcome to use the picture. thank you sarah lee uk

Reply: I think so  - glen

30 October, 2013:
Is this a false widow???

Reply: Looks like a false widow  - glen

24 October, 2013:
Spider i found in the house it landed on me

Reply: Could be a false widow, the markings on the abdomen look right but the light cephalothorax and banded legs don't look right - glen

21 October, 2013:
Hi Glen its Bex again, found this spider in Derby uk can you tell me what it is? Again it was in a house, when I put a cup over it it kept rolling over onto its back  Thanks  Bex


Reply: Could be a false widow but not positive - glen

19 October, 2013:
Hi again! One of my friends has found another strange looking spider at our workplace and concerned this is a false black widow? Can you advise please? Thanks and regards Elana


19 October, 2013:
My 15 month old daughter brought this out of my bedroom. It was dark brown/black in body with reddish legs and a creamy white tattoo on its bulbous body. It was about The size of a 10 - 50 pence peace without getting too close to measure. Please advise me of this as I'm 99% in my own eyes its a false widow.


6 October, 2011:
Hi Glen, Found this spider this morning. I live in Northern Utah. Thought maybe you could help identify it. -- ~Jay

29 February, 2008:
Hello, I was wondering if you may help me identify this spider. I attached several pics.  Thank you so much. Kaine

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