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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)

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 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 Steatoda nobilis Steatoda triangulosa
 Steatoda Paykulliana Steatoda bipunctata

Other Steatoda

Steatoda Paykulliana

Hi Glen, i've been doing a bit of homework on it and may have found out what it is. I read there was such a thing as a 'false widow' so i typed it into google and noticed one similar, after following many links i fell upon a picture which showed a black spider with a red stripe like mine, its name was 'Steatoda Paykulliana' (False Widow Spider was the common name) and apparently they actually prey upon real Black Widows and would assume Brown Widows too......shame it died! Not so venomous either.....may be make a nice safe pet? Check the sites out below for more info, or type steatoda paykulliana into google. website: or

1 February, 2006:
Hi Glen, here's a couple of pictures of the black spider, it had died overnight by the time these pics were taken so i tried to carefully place it in a respectable pose with tweezers, it lost 3 legs in my frantic attempt to capture it alive, I was a bit nervous when i was trying to catch it but I'd rather it died than me! my camera work isn't brilliant but if any of these pics are of interest to you for your website you can freely copy and use any of them at will. When we crushed the egg sacks we missed two, one hatched hundreds of the little beggars of which i crushed about a hundred then they scattered all over the place ) and the other we put in a jar. Since i last emailed you I've caught 5 more brown widows and what looks like it may become a black widow. We have since lifted up a grate next to where i caught this black spider in the photo and we found a single egg sack of a smooth nature (not the spiky one) right where the spider was hiding and have put that in another jar for surveillance (almost round but ever so slightly egg shaped an cream in colour). I am very surprised to see widow spiders in one else believed me when i said i had some round my house and garden, they said they don't come from this part of the world it can't be them, and then i checked the net for photos and found your site which enlightened me to what i was dealing with, so thank you! you have probably saved me from getting bitten by alerting me to how venomous they are. I am now treating them with upmost respect. I guess they are cannabalistic too because one has attacked another and spun a web round it now and it looked like it was giving it a good bite too. I've thrown a few live beetles in the tub to keep them occupied too and it seems to be doing the trick. Two pics one of side view, one of underside view. Look forward to hearing your verdict! thanks Glen,  Paul