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425 Views 3 Replies Last post: Nov 7, 2013 9:20 AM by MWJB RSS
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Nov 6, 2013 10:23 PM

Is this a false widow?!

Apologises about the poor quality but can you please tell me if you think this is a false widow? I found it outside my baby boys bedroom and am now worried as it looks like a baby spider! It had almost red coloured legs with a dark slightly bulbous body with a distinctive white band around the body and a whit pattern on its back. Should I be worried there could be more? I have young children in the house and am worrying for them. Any advice would be much appreciated, thank you.

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    Nov 6, 2013 11:23 PM (in response to csmith1981)
    Re: Is this a false widow?!

    Hi CSmith1981,

     

    This is a Steatoda nobilis, hard to say from the photos, but possibly a small, wandering male. Put him outside.

     

    Females, when established in a web, don't tend to wander and stick to their webs/hiding places, so if there are more & you haven't noticed them yet, you may never do? Females tend to like being off the ground in areas where there is a lot of footfall, they hang in their shelf-like webs in the evening so are easily spotted.

     

    False widows don't generally like being in very close proximity to each other. Tend to be fairly spread out. They don'tlive in colonies/nests.

     

    They are not deadly, nor dangerous...a bite might not be pleasant but is akin to a wasp/bee sting - in fact, it's less dangerous.

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        Nov 7, 2013 9:20 AM (in response to csmith1981)
        Re: Is this a false widow?!

        Bites typically occur when a spider gets trapped in clothing & crushed against the skin, in many cases where a bite is confirmed you'll find a dead, crushed spider.

         

        They don't prowl around looking for people to bite, they normally scurry out of the way of what they perceive as threats. They are not aggressive, they are actually quite skittish & shy. Males looking for a mate can be a bit reckless, well, because they have other things on their mind ;-)

         

        A bite mark may have a weal, some swelling & redness...like a bee/wasp sting.

         

        But really, don't torture yourself. False widows are all over the place in my region, the flats where  I live are populated with babies, young children, pets etc....life goes on as normal, because it is normal. Bites are extraordinarily rare, even here. The stories in the papers are not a true representation of the risks presented by these spiders, which are very, very low. Any sting/bite/cut/graze can become infected, the more dramatic stories in the paper seem to revolve around people who were bitten then let infection set in, or those with allergies/compromised immunity. Several stories are based around harmless spiders, mistaken for false widows, that present no threat to anyone.

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