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676 Views 4 Replies Last post: Jul 24, 2014 11:12 PM by MWJB RSS
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Jul 24, 2014 9:47 PM

OMG! Is this a false widow spider? please help, i'm freaked out.

sorry for the poor picture quality (was too scared to get too close to it).. but do you know if this is a False Widow Spider?


Just spotted it on my garden fence and I didn't know what to do? and if there are any more?


help please :-(

  • The photos are a little blurry, but given that, it does look like Steatoda nobilis (Noble false widow).


    I appreciate that you are obviously concerned, but you really have nothing to fear from an S. nobilis on your garden fence. They're not aggressive, they won't charge, or jump at you. Mostly they just try and get away, looking for somewhere to hide.


    Bear in mind that I have some idea of what you are feeling, I was terrified of spiders for 4 decades, couldn't be in a room with one. I moved house to somewhere that is crawling with spiders & over time, just became accustomed to them. I can honestly say that false widows don't bother me any more than any other spiders nowadays.


    They are not dangerous to heathy humans, certainly not deadly. Bites are often the result of a spider somehow being crushed against the skin. You are still more likely to be stung by a wasp, or bee, than bitten by that spider, even in areas where false widows are common.


    Be aware that they are around, make a note of where you see/find them & just take sensible precautions.


    For a balanced view on false widows follow this link:

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      • Females (large abdomens) tend to make a web & stick to it. They don't like to be far from the security of a hiding place, their web will often lead to a hole/crack in which they take cover. They tend to be reasonably spread out too. I tend to see generations of them inhabit the same places over & over, I see the odd new spider every now & then, some disappear...basically your not likely to turn around one day and see hundreds of them. However, if you do make a point of searching them out, you my well find more, but be aware that they may have been there all along.


        Males, when mature, stop feeding & spend their time wandering, looking for females. If you see a male that is not cohabiting in a web with a female (as they do for short periods), then it is likely to wander off & unlikey to be seen again. Males are shorter lived than the females.


        The spider in your photos has a small abdomen & is quite leggy, which points more to a male, but the photos aren't really good enough to say for certain.


        They seem to like man-made structures to live on, which obviously can bring them close to us, but they really don't seem to relish human contact. I have had one live in the vent of my living room window for 2 years now, I often try and take photos of her, but most of the time, just approaching the web sees her bolt for cover. She's never as much as whole feet from her hiding place.

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