Female to 10mm; male to 6mm.
Black, or purplish brown, with a vague pattern of pale markings (a semi-circle and 3 spots) on the rotund abdomen (female, photo). The body never shows any red. The male is smaller, slimmer and unlikely to bite.
Dark corners, outbuildings, hollow trees and caves. Cosmopolitan: Europe, Asia, N and S America. In the UK, commonest in SW England. Adult females occur all year.
A tangle-web, with taut threads bearing sticky globules.
'Sharp pain in toe; began to swell rapidly, became red with throbbing pain. The redness spread to the foot then began to regress after 12 hours.'