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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. 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 Ė 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


Other Steatoda

Reply: Some sort of steatoda- glen


15 Sept, 2015
I'm sending along a photo, the first I was able to capture of the steatoda/steadota that I'm inquiring about--that is, the purplish-brown San Diego one. Unfortunately, she is largely obscured by the big cricket that she's feasting on. It's the first time I've seen her out of her hole during daylight.



Reply: Some sort of steatoda- glen


14 June, 2015
I found this spider on my front porch. It was a loner. I'm dying to know if it is widow or not. Can you help me in identifying it? I have included the hole that it was living in. The web was mess and was connected to the brick floor in front of it. I ruined the web when I sprayed it with bug killer. I appreciate any help you can give me. Thank you, Michelle



Reply: Some sort of steatoda- glen


5 June, 2015
Here he is,



23 May, 2015
hi there... Please attached a few photo's of this spider I found in my cellar a couple of days ago.. I moved the spider with a stick and the legs and body were very hard. I also saw another one the same under my chair in the garden but I left that alone... Do I need to be concerned about it? Hope you can help I have some other photo's if you need them Jake (From the uk)


Reply: Some sort of steatoda- glen


27 January, 2015
It's really hard to take pictures of moving things that barely stay still so I hope this is good enough



Reply: Some sort of steatoda- glen


7 January, 2015
Here was a side view of it actually wrapping up some type of wolf looking spider. :) pretty neat. Any clues?



Reply: Maybe the NZ version of a false widow?- glen


7 January, 2015
Hi Can you identify this spider I found in my house in Auckland NZ? Cheers



Reply: I can't see any red on it but it looks very much lie a widow spider which is related to the steatoda so I have included this one here  - glen

28 October, 2014:
Dear Glen, As I was taking my kids out to the pool today in my apartments I ran across this spider on a wall at the pool. I live in Citrus Heights and would like to know if there is much to worrie about before telling the management to have it taken care of. It's starting a sack as you can see so I hope you can tell me it's ok and won't harm people. Thanks.


Reply: This one is some sort of steatoda - glen

17 July, 2014:
Hi glen, I found this spider in my garden, do you know what it is please?, thank you, Tina


Reply: This  is some sort of steatoda  and they are related to red backs which is why they look similar - glen

17 July, 2014:
Hi, Hoping you can help identify this spider, we found it inside our house in a walk in robe amongst some clothes. It appears it's web was on the floor in the corner of the room. It has a similar shape to a red back but the markings on the back I don't recognise. Thanks. Best Regards Daniel


Reply: This one is some sort of steatoda  - glen

17 July, 2014:
Today I was cleaning out our garbage can shed and found this spider in its nest. I guess I scared it and it dropped to the floor. Please can you identify? I ran and got my camera and was wondering if it is related to the widow family. I live on the north shore of Lake Huron in the Province of Ontario , Canada Thank You, Bill E-B


Reply: This one is some sort of steatoda I think and they are related to the black widows - glen

17 July, 2014:
My son found this spider in his backyard in Ottawa, Ontario. We've never seen one like those before. He says that there are few of them around. Is this related with black widow spiders? Thanks Alain


Reply: This one is some sort of steatoda I think - glen

17 July, 2014:
Just wondering if you have any idea what kind of spider this is? We found it in our shead whilst cleaning it out today along with loads more strange looking spiders!!


Reply: This one is some sort of steatoda I think - glen

17 July, 2014:
Hi there I live in George (south africa) and found this spider today. Do you know what it is? This is the only one I have ever seen in this area. Keisha


Reply: This one is some sort of steatoda I think - glen

6 May, 2014:
Attached are some more pics. The first 2 spiders are the ones I find all the inside and out side of my house. I have pics of other spiders that look like those if you need more. I just thought those 2 pics should more markings. These ones have not real thick webs or well structured webs. They are just more like random stands of web hanging from perch to perch. The last 2 pics attached are ones I find every now and then. Mainly around my doors, both inside and out, and in my car. Their webs are also not that well structured. They kinda just string from random perches with no main center. Let me know what you think! Thanks again! Thanks, Austin

Reply: This could be one of the steatoda family - glen

12 October, 2013:
I just seem to find spiders everywhere these days.

Reply: This could be one of the steatoda family - glen

12 October, 2013:
I live in central Massachusetts. I found this spider on the back side of my house just last week (June) but have not been able to ID it at all. It wasn't in a web, it was sort of "folded up" against the underside of a board on the house. When I blew on it a few times it unfolded itself to become a rather large (a good 3"- leg tip to leg tip) bright red spider! The closest thing it looks like, that I can find,is a dwarf spider only it is NOT small! Can you identify this guy for me? I always try to ID the insects that I find, especially around my home. Thank You for your help! -Meredith

Reply: This is also one of the steatoda family - glen

12 October, 2013:
Hello - any idea what this Beast is that I found in my garage in Northern California ? No markings on underside. Cheers Tom

Reply: This is also one of the steatoda family - glen

4 November, 2012:
Hi Glen, Found this one crawling along the kitchen floor, it is no more than an inch long but I haven't seen this kind before. It is just getting cold here in the UK so it may have entered the house to seek refuge! Best Regards Al Sussex, England

Reply: This is probably one of the steatoda family - glen

4 November, 2012:
Sent from my iPhone

Reply: This is probably one of the steatoda family too - glen

20 November, 2011:
Hi, I took a photo of this spider that was living in my car door and the markings were very interesting. Im sure this a just a common spider but thought I would ask a specialist [Smile] any light you can shed on this will be very interesting and much appreciated. thank you Regards Neil, Essex England

Reply: This is probably one of the steatoda family too - glen

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

5 June, 2011:
Iíd really appreciate it if you could help me identify this spider. I found it dead on the floor of a closet that hasnít been used or cleaned in more than a year. If itís an ordinary house spider, I wonít worry about it, but if itís poisonous, Iíll need to take fumigation steps to protect my grandchildren. The body plus head is only 3/8Ē of an inch, but the belly markings look vaguely hourglass-shaped (to me). Back/Belly photos attached. Thanks so much! Barb

Reply: This is also similar to  a brown widow spider  but I can't see any red markings on it so its probably one of the steatoda family too - glen

19 May, 2011:
Spider ID, Dave

Reply: This is looks like a brown widow spider  but I can't see any red markings on it so its probably one of the steatoda family - glen

14 February, 2011:
Hello, I would like to have some help to identify a specie of spider there is in my house. I live in the northwest of Brazil (hot weather) and in my house are a infestation of spiders. It has a brown body with a white/gray butt. It's web is like a straight fiber. The spider's size is like a thumbnail. I attached a picture, so you can see better the spiders. I hope to hear from you soon Thankfully, Rebeca


Reply: This is looks like a false widow spider   - glen

14 February, 2011:
Hiyaó You probably get tons of requests for spider i.d.s, and this email is no differentÖ I live in north eastern Illinois, 40 miles west of Chicago, USA, in a town called St. Charles. Iím a naturalist and keep pretty good track of the spiders I share a house with. For the most part, theyíre fairly common species. But the one in the attached pic was a new guy. For all I know, he may be common as well, but I sure as heck canít figure out what he is. He appeared in early December, on the wall in my kitchen. I tried to get a shot that would capture his eye pattern, but no luck. He kept turning every time I got close with the camera. He hung around for about a week. Then, when I finally had time to try and capture him for a close-up look, he was gone. An interesting behavior noteóhe ate all the other spiders in the kitchen before moving on to points unknown. Can you help with an identification on this fine specimen? I write a weekly column in our local newspaper, and ran the pic a few weeks ago hoping a reader would recognize it. But so far all Iíve gotten is an email warning that it might be a brown recluse (because, after all, thatís what all spiders are, right? J ) and a phone message that I should Google ďcamel spiders.Ē Can you please help me identify this spider? I will certainly run your answer and credit you and your fine web site in the column. Thanks very much, in advanceó Pam

Reply: Looks like one of the steadota family as well.

24 September, 2010:
I found this spider in the corner of my garage (Vancouver BC, Canada) and was wondering: what kind it is? Pics attached.

Reply: Looks like one of the steadota family as well.

17 January, 2009
Hi, I live in Vancouver BC. Came across this spider in my basement, not the first one I've seen down there.... Worried that it might be a black widow. What do you think? I would REALLY appreciate you help. Thanks Angela and family

22 November, 2008
Hi Glen, 6123a, 1531a and 1538a - I believe these are all common red house spiders, am I correct? These spiders are very common here in Bermuda, they are the ones that make the messy cobwebs in the house. Iím not sure what kind of spider is in 1542a. Itís tiny, with legs and all it canít be more than 1/8 inch. I found it behind a picture frame. It looks like it has 3 pairs of eyes Ė I know that the brown recluse have six eyes arranged like this, could it be a juvenile? Have a good day, Tracy

Reply: Looks like one of the steadota family.

13 November, 2008:
Hi! Stumbled on your website while searching for a match to the spider my daughter found in her home. Any information that you can give will be most helpful. We live in the Pacific Northwest. I haven't had a chance to ask her if this was found outside or inside her house. She has a baby so I hope that it wasn't in the house. Thank you,

16 June, 2008:
This spider and the web look a lot like a black widow but it does not have a red hourglass shape on the abdomen. It lives in a tree and comes out at night. The body is about 13mm.

10 June, 2008:
I found this spider and am not sure if it is poisonous or not. I don't want to disturb it if Its not harmful but if it is my wife wants it out of the house. This spider is from Houston Tx if that helps, and its not much bigger if any than the fly shown with it. Please let me know what you think. Thanks, Mark

12 May, 2008:
The other two are of a tiny little brown spider we found as we were cleaning back in a corner near a window...a steadota? Very small, only about the size of a fingernail. (including leg span.) Enjoy! Freemans, Tucson AZ USA

10 May, 2008:
Hi Glen, I'm sure you probably get tired of people sending you pix of spiders to identify, but here goes: After coming out of the shower a couple days ago, I noticed a weird black, circular wound with a red ring around it on my ankle. I hadn't remembered bumping my foot or anything, and the center part of the tissue was blackened & scabbed - like the tissue had just kinda died or necrotized (pic attached). It had a weird appearance, but no pain at all. I suspected it was possibly a spider bite, and after looking at a few images of spider bites on the Web, I concluded that it probably was. My wife & I did a spider hunt and found this guy lurking around - 2 pics attached. To the best of your knowledge, what species of spider would you say this is? And, of course, I'm curious as to whether it could be resposble for the bite.
Any info will be much appreciated. It's not a life-or-death siutation; I'm mainly just very curious. best, JohnB

10 April, 2008:
Hi Glen,
Here is one photo of a Steadota, and some pictures of two other spiders I can't identify. You can use the pics if you want.

Click for a larger view. 

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

12 January, 2008:
Hey Glen, I'm 13 and currently living in Vancouver, BC, my names also Glen :). Today I was cleaning out my gutters with my dad and found a spider, at first I automatically assumed it was a Black Widow, but then when I got closer it seemed to be more of a maroon colour... Please tell me what it is.
*Dark Steel Warrior*


Reply: It still is possibly a steadota, they may be brown, reddish or black with most species exhibiting a white band at the front of the dorsal abdomen which may resemble a collar.

29 December
, 2007:
This spider was in my sofa bed. i have never seen one before could you tell me where i might find out more information about it? i thought it was a steadota but they all seem to be brown and this is black with greenish grey legs. will it bite my company? feel free to use these if you like . thanks melissa


13 September, 2007:
I send you too the spider that I told you that my house is full of it!!!!!! They are everywhere!!!!! Kitchen, bathroom, close to the dog food plate and they're very funny! It doesn't bother me, but is fun that I found they all over my house!! Note that they are very tiny but with a big But!!!  Iím sending you 2 different shoots of the same kind (I THINK) of this little spider!!! Note that one have more darker the but than the other!! Ae they the same family or specie?? I know that for the size they cant be and maybe is IMPOSSIBLE that they could be venomous to human, but what do you think?? They are a common specie?? In their size are they venom to small bugs??? Take a look and maybe you can know this specie!!! Gustavo


17 June, 2007::

Hi, I found this spider in my house. It caught my eye, because it was in a black widow (rare in NE PA) type web, except larger and not as dense. Can you ID this spider and let me know if it is venomous? Thank you  Bob

Reply: The specimen was some type of theriid ("comb-footed") spider, possibly
one of the /
Steadota/Steatoda species (we can't be positive without seeing an actual specimen). It derives its name from a set of bristles which are found on  the hind pair of legs. These bristles are used to wrap the spider's prey in silk. This group of spiders includes the black widow spider but the specimen in your picture is not that species. In general, this particular species does not pose a health threat to people or pets. However, just as with bee or wasp stings (which have a very different venom), people will exhibit varying degrees of  sensitivity to a bite. I don't consider the use of pesticides as necessary. Preventive  spraying for spiders if difficult because they move around and finding a "target  site" to treat is difficult. Plus, longevity of the chemical in being effective against spiders depends on many factors. Simply removing the spider is a simple and effective control. (Entomologist - State Centre)

11 June, 2006:
Hi, great website. Any idea on what kind of spider this is?  She's got red diamonds down the back in a patter with black..found her underneath my pool skimmer. never seen this before. In sunny Phx, AZ Any help would be great!!! Thanks, Chea