Steatoda grossa

A medium-sized spider, usually with a bulbous abdomen. In general appearance this species appears uniformly black and is arguably the most widow-like of the UK's false widow species.

  • Abdomen: on close inspection in good light, the abdomen is purplish brown and never the pitchy black of most true widow species. Occasionally the abdomen is marked with a series of cream coloured chevrons and/or a cream band running around the front edge.
  • Legs and head: usually as dark as the abdomen. 
Habitat

This species prefers to make its web low to the ground and can often be found amongst the clutter around the garden and in sheds and garages. 

They will also live comfortably in cooler and more humid parts of the home, especially kitchens where they make their webs beneath cabinets and appliances. 

Web

The web is not a classic orb-web, but a three-dimensional tangle of threads, usually larger in size than that of Steatoda bipunctata, the rabbit hutch spider.

UK distribution

This species is common and widespread in the UK. It was once a species with a southern distribution but has colonised most counties up to Manchester over the last 20-30 years and is increasing its range northwards.

Concerns

This species is rarely implicated in bites although bites appear to have been recorded. Females rarely present themselves in our homes, although they may be present in cooler rooms. Males are more frequently seen when they are mature and searching for a mate, but these are much smaller than the females and are very unlikely to be able to bite.