Home / Cobweb Spiders / Brown Widow (Latrodectus geometricus)

Brown Widow (Latrodectus geometricus)

Brown widow spiders belong to the family of cobweb spiders. Although initially it was thought to be a native of South Africa, but brown widows were found in South America and Africa as well.

Scientific Classification

Brown Widow Spider

Physical Description and Identification

Adults

Size: Female brown widow spiders are around 0.5 in long (1.2 cm) and males are one-third of them. The usual leg span of female spiders is 1.5-2.0 in (3.81-5.08 cm).

Color: Just like their name, these spiders are mostly brown or tan. Some spiders can be pale while others can be extremely dark, like black.

Other Characteristic Features: There is an hourglass marking on the abdomen in yellow or orange shades.

Female Brown Widow Spider

Eggs

Female spiders lay 12-150 eggs in a thorny or spiky tan-colored sac. Throughout their lifetime, they can produce around 20 sacs maximum. It takes around 20 days for the hatchlings to come out of the eggs.

Brown Widow Spider Egg

Spiderlings

Spiderlings eat other spiderlings and continue to grow new skin, shedding the older one.

Brown Widow Baby Spider

The Web

The web does not have any certain pattern and it is made of silk emerging from the spinnerets of the spider. There is a peripheral retreat for the female spider, so that it can hide in it whenever it feels threatened.

Brown Widow Spider Web

Are Brown Widow Spiders Venomous

Brown widow spiders are basically shy and they avoid human contacts. They bite under the most desperate situation. the affected skin might turn red with pain. As far as the venom is concerned, it is neurotoxic, resulting in vomiting or muscle rigidity. Medical assistance is recommended.

Brown Widow Spider Picture

Quick Facts

Other Names Brown button spider, brown-black widow, grey widow,  geometric button spider, house button spider
Distribution South Africa, United States, Afghanistan, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, Japan, China, El Salvador, Brazil, Uruguay, Thailand, Costa Rica, and Australia
Habitat Backyards, garages, mailboxes, buckets, unused and empty containers
Web Type Asymmetrical
Diet Insects
Predators Digger wasps and  mud daubers
IUCN Conservation Status Not listed
Geometric Button Spider
Brown Button Spider

Did You Know

  • Despite being preyed on extensively, the number of spiders is not decreasing at all.
  • Although its cousin is the black widow, but in terms of toxicity it is not close to the venomous species.

Image Credits: A.scpr.org, Cisr.ucr.edu, Pe.com, Desertusa.com, Live.staticflickr.com, Bugguide.net, I.pinimg.com

Brown widow spiders belong to the family of cobweb spiders. Although initially it was thought to be a native of South Africa, but brown widows were found in South America and Africa as well.

Brown Widow Spider

Physical Description and Identification

Adults

Size: Female brown widow spiders are around 0.5 in long (1.2 cm) and males are one-third of them. The usual leg span of female spiders is 1.5-2.0 in (3.81-5.08 cm).

Color: Just like their name, these spiders are mostly brown or tan. Some spiders can be pale while others can be extremely dark, like black.

Other Characteristic Features: There is an hourglass marking on the abdomen in yellow or orange shades.

Female Brown Widow Spider

Eggs

Female spiders lay 12-150 eggs in a thorny or spiky tan-colored sac. Throughout their lifetime, they can produce around 20 sacs maximum. It takes around 20 days for the hatchlings to come out of the eggs.

Brown Widow Spider Egg

Spiderlings

Spiderlings eat other spiderlings and continue to grow new skin, shedding the older one.

Brown Widow Baby Spider

The Web

The web does not have any certain pattern and it is made of silk emerging from the spinnerets of the spider. There is a peripheral retreat for the female spider, so that it can hide in it whenever it feels threatened.

Brown Widow Spider Web

Are Brown Widow Spiders Venomous

Brown widow spiders are basically shy and they avoid human contacts. They bite under the most desperate situation. the affected skin might turn red with pain. As far as the venom is concerned, it is neurotoxic, resulting in vomiting or muscle rigidity. Medical assistance is recommended.

Brown Widow Spider Picture

Quick Facts

Other Names Brown button spider, brown-black widow, grey widow,  geometric button spider, house button spider
Distribution South Africa, United States, Afghanistan, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, Japan, China, El Salvador, Brazil, Uruguay, Thailand, Costa Rica, and Australia
Habitat Backyards, garages, mailboxes, buckets, unused and empty containers
Web Type Asymmetrical
Diet Insects
Predators Digger wasps and  mud daubers
IUCN Conservation Status Not listed
Geometric Button Spider
Brown Button Spider

Did You Know

  • Despite being preyed on extensively, the number of spiders is not decreasing at all.
  • Although its cousin is the black widow, but in terms of toxicity it is not close to the venomous species.

Image Credits: A.scpr.org, Cisr.ucr.edu, Pe.com, Desertusa.com, Live.staticflickr.com, Bugguide.net, I.pinimg.com

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