Brown Widow Spider Facts

The brown widow spider bite is less poisonous as its cousin's bite, the black widow.
The brown widow spider bite is less poisonous as its cousin’s bite, the black widow.

Are brown widow spiders “cousins” of black widow spiders? Are they as poisonous as the black widows? Here are some brown widow spider facts you must know.

Geographical range

The brown widow spider or Latrodectus geometricus is a tropical spider originally found in South Africa. This cousin of the most poisonous black widow spider can also be found in Hawaii and Florida as well in the Caribbean Islands, in Australia, Cyprus and Japan. Specimens of this spider were also found in the southeastern US from Texas and to Georgia, USA.

Brown widow spider is part of the local spider fauna in the California area of the USA most particularly in urban Los Angeles and San Diego area. The population of this kind of spider continuously expands within Southern California and also northward towards Central California. Its presence is Southern California dates back to the year 2000 and is considered to have evolved from Africa. However, it was first known to come from South America.

Description

The coloration of the brown widow spider is a combination of tan and brown accentuated by a black accent marking. It is also called by other names such as grey widow, brown black widow,house button spider or geometric button spider.

It seems to have an hourglass marking but is just an orange shade which is a pale image of the vivid red hourglass of the black widow. The mature females have a dorsal longitudinal abdominal stripe combined with three diagonal stripes on each flank. The egg sacs of the brown widow are distinctive and has many silk spicules that project from a surface, looking like a large pollen grain or a harbor mine used in Word War 11.

A brown widow spider can produce multiple egg sacs in its lifetime. They can lay about 120 to 150 eggs per sac to a total of 20 egg sacs over its entire life span.

Habitat

A brown widow spider usually builds its web in a secluded and protected surroundings of homes and also in a woody area especially in branches of a vegetation. They love to build web in containers, mail boxes, under eaves, garages, storage closets, plastic garbage cans and even in undercarriages of motor vehicles.

Brown widow spider bite

The bite of the brown widow is just a minor bite when compared to the bite of a black widow but is as toxic as any widow species. If bitten by a brown widow spider, get treatment or first aid for non-poisonous spider bite.