Black Widow or False Black Widow?

some kind of widow spider

I have a family of widow-type spiders living in my outdoor worm bin. I like spiders and all they do around the garden, and have a no kill policy toward them in general. This particular situation, however, has had me a teeny bit nervous. They hang out on the underside of the lid of the worm bin for the most part, though I’ve seen them on the surface of the worm compost once or twice. Obviously my concern is that I will touch one when opening or closing the bin, or while burying my kitchen waste.

Believing these spiders to be black widows, my options have been either to be very attentive while around the worm bin–or to roll out the vacuum. So far I’ve opted for being careful.

The thing about these spiders is that they lack the identifying spots on their abdomens, but I remembered being told somewhere that not all types show the red marks, and that males never do. Was this true? Were there other types of spiders that looked like this? After weeks of tip-toeing around the worm bin, I finally got around to doing some research. My conclusions are not conclusive, so I’m coming to you, dear readers, for help.

Wikipedia’s entry confuses me a bit:

Not all adult black widows exhibit the red hourglass on the ventrum underside or top of the abdomen β€” some may have a pair of red spots or have no marking at all. Female black widows often exhibit various red markings on the dorsal or top side of the abdomen, commonly two red spots. However, black widow young are believed to have at least some sort of marking on their abdomens. Adult male black widows are half the size of the females, and are usually gray or brown rather than black and red; while they may sometimes have an hourglass marking on their ventral abdomen, it is usually yellow or white, not red. Variation in specifics by species and by gender is great; any spider exhibiting a red hourglass or a pair of large red round spots on the ventral abdomen with an otherwise black shiny body is an adult female black widow.

Here is how I read this: Not all adults display an hourglass…but females often display some sort of red mark. Young and males may or may not have some kind of mark, but not red…but be careful! Variations by species and gender are significant. If you see a black spider with red markings, be very, very afraid. That there is definitely a female black widow. But really, there’s no guarantees here that other less flashy spiders aren’t some kind of dangerous, either.

This is not reassuring.

But then on the handy page Frequently Encountered Spiders in California, I learned about the False black widow.

Another European invasive, this spider seems to be displacing our native black widows in urban areas. Β This spider is roughly the same size and shape as a black widow, but is brown with a faint purple sheen.

I like this false black widow option a lot. The false widows don’t have a dangerous sting.

The spiders in my box are pretty shy, but insofar as I can tell, they are all sort of an eggplant color–not that true, bad-ass black of a classic widow. Nor have I seen any red marks. (That doesn’t mean that big mama with her red marks isn’t hiding somewhere.)

So, from this not-so-great photo, can anyone tell me if this particular spider might be a false widow, Steatoda grossa, or a male black widow, Latrodectus hesperus? It’s about 1/2 inch in size.

UPDATE 5/10:Β  After reviewing the evidence, I believe this is a false black widow. However, my trouble are not over, because it turns out that they do have a venomous bite, apparently somewhat like a mild black widow bite. Here’s the bite intensity scoop according to UC IPM: black widows: obviously bad; brown widows: mild; false black widows: moderate.

Leave a comment


  1. The fact that you’ve got a “family” leads me to believe that this isn’t a black widow, which are usually solitary. We just found one yesterday in a plant tray and have been doing a bit of research ourselves.

    • solitary is a very relative term when talking about widows because of their small size and reproductive prowess that make any rabbit envious. while they are not colonial spiders that share a web, they can be found in massive colonies just inches apart from one another.

      if a horde of them find/hatch in a prime location, they wont leave food over territory disputes. there were probably hundreds under the lunch tables of one of my elementary schools, didnt even know they were there for a long time.

      brown widows are a bit less toxic i believe but are certainly less shy, though i have seen groups of blacks hangin out in very “in the way” areas.

  2. Not to scare you too much (I like the idea of a false black widow too), but we live in the SoCal area and have lots of Brown Widows. They look quite a bit like your picture. They are not black at all, but they do most certainly still have the red markings on the underside of their abdomen. Have you been able to see the underside of these guys you have? I do agree with the above post. If you really have a “family” of them, unless there is one momma with several little tiny babies, they probably aren’t widows. They tend to be very territorial.

    • I’ve not seen red marks on any so far. The pic on the post shows the underside of one, for instance.

      However, re: territoriality I haven’t seen the other family members recently. There were tiny babies at one point, and I’ve seen up to 3 adult spiders one time or another hanging out in different parts of the bin, but lately–as far as I can tell– it seems down to the one in the pic. Did she polish off the others? (shiver)

  3. All pictures I’ve seen of male black widow spiders look totally different from the females, so I’m fairly sure the spider you have is not a male black widow. I had an infestation of black widows at my old house (killed about a dozen over approx 2 years) but the only ones I have ever seen have been super shiny black with the red hourglass on their underside or two red spots on their back. And I’ve never seen more than one at a time. I personally would exterminate them and remove any doubt. Lol.

  4. I had one of these in my outdoor worm bin too. I squished it. I have an amnesty policy for all non-scary looking spiders, but scary ones get squished

  5. Black widows will have a non-sticky strong web, do not live in colonies (very territorial), and do not like to be far away from the ground. If the spiders are on your lid, they must be about 3-4 feet off of the ground? These are probably not black widows. Also, BW’s do not like to be in areas with heavy traffic. If you are disturbing their nests on a regular basis, they will move somewhere else.
    I routinely do a “Black widow hunt” of my house and yard every month. I kill approximately 5 each time (my whole neighborhood is infested). I have never found them to be more than an inch off of the ground. They like to live in the cracks between the foundation and the house, or between pipes and the house. They only come out at night when the weather heats up. There is always some sort of red on the abdomen of the females, and the males are brown with yellow on the abdomen. Good hunting with a headlamp, insecticide (to slow them down), and my spider killing stick.
    P.S. I do allow all other spiders to live πŸ™‚

    • I live in Oklahoma far from all of you but I read where you said black widows stay close to the ground. We had one this year on the outside of my sons bedroom window screen far from the ground, she had three giant yellowish egg sacks hanging out with her on the screen. We saw it from our living room window, my daughter actually spotted it and told us about it. Needless to say, my husband took our wasp spray that sprays up to 20 feet and soaked her and her eggs with it then finished her off.

    • I have never killed a spider in my lifetime and I’m old enuff to be on Medicare. I have been trying or at least tempting a spider to bite me for 45 years. Have not succeeded yet. You are right about widows always living close to the ground. In fact the Widow I am holding in my hand right now along with her egg case was found on the ground today in a pile of discarded wood. Yes I said in my hand. Neither I nor my wife have any fear of spiders because we know that they are not going to bite. In 45 years I have never had a person who claimed to have been bitten able to describe the spider to me because not one of them ever actually saw the spider. Black Widows- the most irrationally maligned and vilified fellow creatures on this earth.

    • Martin, you are a dear person. I agree with you completely, black widows are not the big bad wolf. They are very shy, bumbling creatures, they do not go out wandering on the hunt, they stay in their webs in the most out of the way spot they can find. I am deeply saddened that everyone kills them like they are the devil. Just catch them humanely and put them out in an empty area. Poor things. People can be so ignorant. πŸ™

    • Yeah too bad thousands and thousands of people come in to the E.R. every year from spider bites..In which some severe cases they do end paralyzed or end up passing away…But spiders dont bite right? Your ignorance is abundant. So what would you tell all those family members who lost someone or the people who are paralyzed because of ones venom??? Sorry your child/mother/father died but it wasnt a spider cuz they dont bite..Well guess what..Ive never been attacked by a hippo..but they still kill people every year…& I would never be ignorant enough to even THINK let alone SAY..Hippos dont attack people, ive never been attacked and dont know anyone who has seen an attack so it can’t be true. Get the hell out of here. You literally have the mindset of a child if you think that. Matter of fact I think some children even know better.

    • “Wow,” where are you getting your facts on spider bites and spider-bite victims?

    • For those who think spiders don’t bite or know of no one bitten by a spider, I know of someone who was bitten by a brown recluse. My friend is missing a chunk in his leg as a result.

  6. Yup, the sticky, messy web is pretty tell tale of a widow, I have seen “families” of them inhabiting an area, large webs with 5 or 6 spiders (they probably know who’s web is who’s and where the property lines are…….) In the interest of safety, I’d say it’s time to serve an eviction notice!

  7. False Black Widow – we’ve got TONS of them at our place too. Used to kill with reckless abandon, then started doing some reading on them when we had kids, and now let them live for the most part – unless of course we meet in a less than manly way, then its still squish immediately.

    Based on – the size factor (though male black widows are smaller, so not the smoking gun perse…), brownish-purple coloration and lack of spots another, as well as the “non-solitary” behavior.

    If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck πŸ™‚

    Our place is full of crazy random spiders… though we recently unleashed a whole squad of spider killers at the Light homestead – the chickens are putting a hurt on the spider populations. I almost feel bad for them, then I think about all those fabulous orange yolks, and I feel better. πŸ™‚

  8. We’re in Whittier, also have a ton of what we thought were brown widows. A ton. Hiding in the kale and other various plants and bushes, around the patios, around the worm bin…we leave them be.
    I had previously noticed red markings, so after some research we concluded they were brown widows. But now, looking at your pic, I wonder if all of ours actually have the telltale red marking…body wise, our spiders look like your pic. I have become so used to them that I guess I don’t pay attention anymore to red spots or not.

    As for black widows….we do see them on the rare occasion. But hiding in more secluded/quiet recesses.

    Note on the brown widows…. We’ve read that they are not as dangerous, and conversely, just a dangerous as the black ones.

  9. If you want a firm identification I would recommend calling your county extension service to find a phone number and email address for an extension insect specialist. You should be able to have a conversation with that person or send several photos and get a good id on these critters.

  10. First of all, I would not depend on Wikipedia for poisonous spider ID. At least go to and .edu site. I do agree with Andrea about the spiders, but I would take or send the spider in for identification to a county extension office.

    Do you want to be bit by something that is just a bit less dangerous as BW? I do not want spiders anyplace I handle quite often. These spiders are close to the ground, the ground of their world, the worm box.

    That said, I did let a spider live in a window and another behind the microwave. Both were catching their body weight in fruit flies, every day. They were helping me.

    When I had company, I would scare them away and vacuum their webs. The next day, the spiders were back at work, having made new webs and catching more insects.

    One of the problems, I have heard, of insect bites other than the spider “venom” is the introduction of germs/bacteria into the opening they make. You really don’t need an infection on your hand.

  11. I’ve never done any real research but I do find unmistakable Black Widow spiders around my house with some frequency.

    What I’ve heard is that the toxic spiders of whatever variety will weave a chaotic web. If I see those, I put on my gloves and tear them out. If I see the Black Widows I shudder inside and squish them. Dark places and around my cactus are where I see them most often.

    I haven’t knowingly encountered a Brown Widow. Did you say they are benign?

    • Brown widows are not benign, but false black widows, which are brownish, are okay. It’s confusing.

  12. When I was 7, my family moved to the Okanagan and someone told me that they had black widow spiders. I did not sleep the first night there, moving from room to room, imagining black widows crawling in to my sleeping bag to kill me. Since that time we have seen loads of black widows. We had a HUGE female make her web in the garage window and you should have seen the amount of moth carcasses that piled up on that ledge. We co-existed with her quite peacefully, we respected her space and she respected ours. Your spider does not look like any black widow I have ever seen, but I am no expert.

  13. That doesn’t look like a black widow because of the color.

    The black widow’s I’ve seen are a shiny black and the females are big! They are native, so I do think there’s a reason for them to be here. They are being squeezed out by the Brown Widow (from Africa) that is smaller and has an orange hourglass on its abdomen. BTW, they are reputed to be more venomous than the native black widows.

    These spiders like to hang upside down, so it’s easy to identify them. Their web is chaotic and very sticky so if you see that you know there’s one hanging around. They also come out at dusk and hang upside down (mentioned that already). They like the underside of patio furniture because it’s close to the ground.

    We have Greenleaf spray our garden and building perimeter with a non-toxic repellent for fleas and haven’t seen them since. I happen to think they are beautiful and very elegant and only killed one once. It curled up into a ball to protect itself which made me feel really bad. If they were so dangerous I think we’d here of many more accounts.

    I would opt for a live and let live situation.

    • ps. The brown widow egg sac looks like a WWII underwater bomb, a round globe with spikes. If you see that in the web, you know you have brown widows.

    • Re: not hearing about many bites. That’s true. I was thinking about that, too. I know several people who’ve had brown recluse bites (nasty!) but I don’t know anyone who’s been bitten by a black widow.

      Does anyone here have any stories?

    • I always think of them as being like halloween decorations– like the plastic rings I used to get as party favors when I was a kid. They are kind of like the Ur-Spider.

      I saw an unmistakable black widow recently somewhere else, and she was just so shiny/black/sinister/big that I thought that the spiders in my box couldn’t be the same breed.

    • I have been bitten once by a black widow spider. It had made a home between the headboard of the bed and the bed itself (no, I no longer have headboards or footboards on my bed) and I didn’t see it when I reached back to remove mattress cover. It was a definite puncture feeling and that is when I looked to see what it was. I vacuumed it up and took two allergy pills. I had pains in my joints and shooting pains in my stomach for about 3 days and they finally faded away. My dog when she was a puppy found one outside and decided to eat – trip to Vet and medicine. In other words, not much you can do about it.

  14. Black widow webs are very distinctive–they are total chaos and very sticky. The generally go between 2 surfaces–a chair leg and the bottom of the seat, bike tire and frame, toy dump truck and the ground, and unused smoker and the ground, the house and the patio, the stacking concrete blocks in the short wall. We have black widows and brown widows (or at least, the brown widow egg cases, so I assume the spiders are here somewhere). We only see the black widows at dusk, they hide all day. They are generally quite large–and can be HUGE.

    • Yeah, these are a little small. Not really small, but just not impressively large.

  15. The messy web is a great indicator. To control spider populations encourage wasps as they love spiders. A wasp sting is no problem compared to a Black Widow bite.

    • Apparently all widow-type spiders make chaotic webs, including the false black widows.

      We have lots of wasps, actually! These I count as another …um…challenging insect resident of our yard whom I give wide berth.

  16. Hi. Here’s a good link on the difference between all three –

    From what I can tell – if you remember what color the babies were -if they were dark it’s probably a false widow, if light it’s a black widow. The brown widows seem to be mottled and have the spiky egg sac. Good luck!

    • thanks! UC IPM is a great resource for bug questions of all sorts. Should have thought of them.

  17. False black widow. We have tons and tons of both black and false widows at our house in Davis. In our experience, black widows like very dry environments, so unless your worm bin is very dry, I wouldn’t expect to find them there. False widows will tolerate moist environments. Black widows build super strong webs (almost like fishing line)-that’s how we initially ID them. False widows’ webs may look chaotic, but won’t be nearly as strong. Also, female black widows will be a very glossy dark black, not a muted brown like the one in your picture. Immature and male black widows look altogether different from the classic black widow momma shape. In twelve years living with these gals ALL over our yard (, none of us have ever been bitten–we are just very careful and aware.

    • Thanks for the reassurance — and that’s one scary post! Widow in the shoe? shuddddder.

  18. I generally have a no kill policy when it comes to spiders but the widow family means I bust out the shop van without guilt. Their webs tend to be very taut and just have a few strands. In my garden if it resembles a widow type spider I don’t think twice. My $.02

  19. Here’s an article from UC Riverside on the brown widow, for informations’ sake:

    “The bite of the brown widow is about the same as any non-poisonous spider. It hurts and leaves a little mark on the skin. It is no big deal.”

    • Thanks! That makes me feel so much better about the bazillion brown widows and egg sacks I find in all the kids backyard toys. (so much for them not liking places that are regularly disturbed!)

    • I live in san clemente and recently bit by brown widow on my leg while laying on my patio furniture watching sunset. I’m 40 and when I was 17 bitten by black widow with red marks on top of foot. This brown widow was more painful and caused more muscle spasms and fever than black widow. The necrosis around the actual bite isn’t as bad but both are going to leave permanent reminders. I have not had a recluse bite me and hope I don’t ever have the luck of distinguishing the 3 different bites . Until last week I had never heard of brown widow. I found eggs to match pictures and four other adults with orange belly markings. No fun and lots of pain.

  20. I live in Australia and spiders here aren’t a problem so i think you’ll be fine whatever that spider is.
    If you really want to know, get someone to volunteer to be bitten.
    If they live, its not too dangerous πŸ™‚

  21. routinely find a big female black widow in my greenhouse. Sometimes in the garden tool shed HIGH OFF THE GROUND; absolutely red hourglass on her belly and all. Know where they hang out. choose just to be careful. Figure they are there because of a plentiful food supply. also figure that much of their plentiful food supply would be insects that are NOT wanted otherwise. Also welcome snakes for the same reason, with the exception of rattlers who get moved elsewhere. Figure I’m as much invading their territory as they are invading mine. They see me as a danger to their well being too.

  22. Found this post because we just adopted a worm bin from someone living on the other side of the island (Oahu) and there are at least 5 of these same spiders living around the lid and the cardboard I put in the bin.

    We decided to leave them in but tonight I got freaked out seeing several brown sacs..some of which seemed heavily guarded. So I. Started fantasizing about 5000 baby spiders hatching and got freaked out.

    What did you find out and what did you do?

    I would love for them to eat fruit flies and roaches that find their way in but never saw any of these in their web… it didn’t even look like they had a web at all!

  23. Brown widows have only been around a few years mainly since 2010. There is ongoing research and you can actually send in specimens to help with the research. BUT here in Alabama we have them EVERYWHERE. They usually have a hunters orange hourglass on their underside! Whoever said their bite isn’t bad lied to you!! It isn’t quite as bad as a black widow but it is much worse than our other venomous spider in Alabama the brown recluse! If brown widows are around your children’s toys you should kill them! There has not been enough research on their bites….especially when it comes to children! The bite also leaves an ugly scar….much worse than my brown recluse scar!

  24. Also……black widows and brown widows love mailboxes, windows, and edges of garbage cans which are high off the ground……so don’t take the advice that if its up high its not a black widow…..

  25. Your spider is a species of Steatoda. One species, Steatoda grossa is the “false widow,” but yours is not that one (longer legs in the S. grossa spider). Yours is a smaller Steatoda species, but because they tend to resemble each other I can’t go beyond the genus.

    I consider them harmless and nothing to worry about. Here’s some more information on these spiders:

  26. On the note I read many comments on black widows being territorial I think it depends on the season. Around fall time between my house ground based air conditioning unit there is a huge assortment spiders and just huge tangle of webs including black widows and other species I have yet to identify I have collected some of the spiders and put them in jars in my freezer the ones I have collected I know are two black widow females and I have either two false widow female spiders or two unmarked widows. And i have read many places there are black widows without marks.

  27. I think the spiders may be there because the heat put off by the unit. because once winter hits and the AC is completely out of use the spiders are gone.but the spiders are willing to share space for a benefit of warmth or maybe a excess food supply.

  28. Sorry folks, but I tend to kill any and every spider I see, accept for the little fuzzy black ones with some white markings, for some reason they don’t bother me. Maybe because they don’t seem to build webs, only wander and hunt, almost always only see them in doors, 1/2 in. Is a big one

  29. Black Widows are not as “dangerous” as you are all saying, I have trapped them up here in BC too, they like the fruit trees and yes, I’ve seen them up off the ground. I Have one that looks like the picture above and was wondering what it was…

  30. a “false widow” is still a member of the widow family. their appearance is the same of the female blk widow, without the hourglass. Their color has a some what purple-brown hue.

    I disagree with the statement that not all BLACK widows have an hourglass on their abd. I have caught, studied & observed too many to count over the past several yrs. They often have a pattern of circles running down the top view as well as the hourglass on the underside.

    There are 3 known species of widows in the US. The Black Widow, Red Widow and the Brown Widow.

  31. Changes are low that they are dangerous. Even black widows, while having a painful bite (not sting) are usually not likely to bite unless cornered, and even then unless the person is someone with low immune system (young, old or sick) on or sensitive to venom, they will probably be just fine. Not that it is a bad idea to monitor or take a bite victim to a hospital! Even wasp stings can be dangerous or fatal if someone is sensitive or stung many times.

    • “… not likely to bite unless cornered …” My wife and I corner them whenever we see them in order to capture them which is usually in our hand. We have no fear of them because after not being bitten over the last 45 years doing this, we have concluded that they simply do not bite. The spider escape behavior of this spider just like with other spiders is exactly like that of a rabbit – run and hide. I “cornered” one a few weeks ago that was carrying an egg case. She dropped the egg case and ran and hid. But I found her and captured both her and her egg case. I let her go after three days but have kept the egg case. If or when 200 or so babies emerge I will place half outside and half inside my house.

    • i think what you really meant to say was that they have more of a chance to bite if for instance you trap them in your hand and close them. they have more of a claustrophobic sense (only way to truly relate) when you grab them and enclose them that they have no option but to bite but it is really only a last resort for them. they are very docile creatures and most bites are caused by grabbing the spider and squeezing them thus leaving them trapped.

      not saying youre wrong, but youre not completely correct. just clarifying πŸ™‚

  32. ok people, again your all caught up in this concern over the type of spider. first rule: treat all spiders with a healthy respect.
    second rule: don’t touch them.
    that’s it.
    Australia, born and live here, spiders everywhere, and snakes. and yet no-one has died of a spider bite for over 30 years. we all die of the same thing that everyone in western countries die of, obesity and smoking.
    in this country we call people who get bitten by snakes or spiders “idiots”, because they all broke the second rule. anyway, relax if your from North America, your spiders are harmless. you are more likely to die from gunshot caused by a family member.

  33. I kept a black widow as a pet cause I’m weird I guess lol.. But it had an hour glass and after 2 weeks it went away. I don’t know if it’s coming back or what.. So i will say it could very well be.

    • more than likely, your widow molted. My widow molted once and she turned a very bland flat colour rather than the glossy colour. she hid more in her little cove and stayed away. her skin made it appear that her hour glass disappeared but it was just covered by her old skin that was shedding.

      i had my black widow for three years and she molted once. she never lost her colours or markings.

  34. Be a rational thinking individual and shun the hysteria mongering and senseless arachnaphobic brain washing. Go here to see the true nature of these beautiful and gentle creatures:

    I have never killed a spider in my lifetime and I’m old enuff to be on Medicare. I have been trying or at least tempting a spider to bite me for 45 years. Have not succeeded yet. You are right about widows always living close to the ground. In fact the Widow I am holding in my hand right now along with her egg case was found on the ground today in a pile of discarded wood. Yes I said in my hand. Neither I nor my wife have any fear of spiders because we know that they are not going to bite. In 45 years I have never had a person who claimed to have been bitten able to describe the spider to me because not one of them ever actually saw the spider. Black Widows- the most irrationally maligned and vilified fellow creatures on this earth.

  35. Let me say this you can never be too careful especially with children. My grown daughter got bitten by a black widow because she put on a black t shirt….wouldn’t you know it was on her shirt. Never and I mean never leave clothes on the floor put in a plastic hamper. Anyway I did take her to the hospital and the put the spider in a baggy (she was dead) red tummy no doubt about it. If you have to get a professional nothing to play around with. Now on a lighter note have a great day everybody….

  36. Please help! How can I remove (without killing) a large black spider from the outgoing space where dryer tube goes? I don’t want to kill it, but I’m certain it’s a black widow…. And he has to go. I’m afraid of him. Pest control is coming to rid house of recent flea problem and I don’t want the spider to die. Please post suggestions. Yoli

    • It’s really kind of you to care so much about the welfare of this spider. It’s hard to advise you without seeing the situation. But if it were me, I’d probably put on some gloves and a heavy shirt with long sleeves and maybe use rubber bands to connect the sleeves with the gloves, so the spider couldn’t run up the gap between, and then try to herd the spider into a jar or something. It may be that because of its position, you can’t do that. And if you can’t, you can’t–and you know, that’s okay.

  37. We have not contaminated our house or yard with poisonous insecticides in over 40 years. We don’t need them because we have our spiders. Would you think that all these people who claim to have been bitten and are so sure that they bite would put their money where their mouth is? Think again. I have been posting for the past 3 years a $1000 reward poster for anyone who can get a jumping spider to bite me but for a $50 entry fee per spider. They can even drop it down inside my underpants if they so choose. Number of takers to date – ZERO. C’mon folks, if you’re so damn cock sure that they bite here’s your chance to turn your belief into $1000. I would not hesitate to make the same offer for black widows but because of the persistent, irrational, unfounded hysteria associated with that spider – $100 entry fee per spider.

    • I appreciate your wanting to reduce the bad rap that spiders get. I like spiders. That said, I was bitten by a daring jumping spider in CT when I was a kid. I used to pick them up with my fingers which is why it bit; I don’t blame it. But it definitely did bite me, and my arm swelled up afterward for several hours. Since then, though, I’ve avoided picking up those spiders and I haven’t been bit by one. Unfortunately I didn’t make $1000 from my childhood bite ;)p

  38. This is definitely not a black widow. Im with you on the false widow precept on account of the fact that i had a pet black widow for three years and did a LOT of research while having her and before i got her. the sheer size of this spider (though you have no comparison, i can tell its about 1/2 an inch in size. maybe a tad smaller) is what gives it away. its grown thus leaving it as a matured spider that has all of the markings it will ever obtain.

    brown widows are more of a light tan colour with crazy but symmetrical markings usually of a dark brown or black colour with an orange red marking on the bottom. Babies look whiteish cream colour with spots and obtain more of their patterns when older.

    Male black widows are tricky because most of them look like adolescent brown widows. theyre very small with a light brown colour and dark brown to black markings and very seldom do they carry any red markings with them.

    due to the fact that this has a brown tint and not a gloss black like a true black widow would, and also that its lacking any markings, i would definitely classify this as a false widow.

    Also, black widows sometimes carry red spots on their back. can range from faint red or bright red, one to four spots.

    In addition, red backs are commonly confused for black widows. they carry red marks on their backs but not on their abdomen.

    i hope that this information has helped you figure out what you have on your hands.

    p.s. thank you for having a no kill policy πŸ™‚ they do so much good for us.

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