Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Steatoda nobilis
(false widow spider)

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Datasheet

Steatoda nobilis (false widow spider)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 16 November 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Steatoda nobilis
  • Preferred Common Name
  • false widow spider
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Metazoa
  •     Phylum: Arthropoda
  •       Subphylum: Chelicerata
  •         Class: Arachnida
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • Steatoda nobilis is a member of the genus of false widow spiders (the

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Steatoda nobilis (false widow spider); immature female - thorax and abdomen ca.1cm. Ipswich, Suffolk, UK. June 2015.
TitleImmature female
CaptionSteatoda nobilis (false widow spider); immature female - thorax and abdomen ca.1cm. Ipswich, Suffolk, UK. June 2015.
Copyright©Martin Cooper-2015, Ipswich, UK/via wikipedia - CC BY 2.0
Steatoda nobilis (false widow spider); immature female - thorax and abdomen ca.1cm. Ipswich, Suffolk, UK. June 2015.
Immature female Steatoda nobilis (false widow spider); immature female - thorax and abdomen ca.1cm. Ipswich, Suffolk, UK. June 2015.©Martin Cooper-2015, Ipswich, UK/via wikipedia - CC BY 2.0
Steatoda nobilis (false widow spider); male. Note overall 'slimmer' build and swollen palps. Portugal. October 2007.
TitleAdult male
CaptionSteatoda nobilis (false widow spider); male. Note overall 'slimmer' build and swollen palps. Portugal. October 2007.
Copyright©Joaquim Alves Gaspar-2007, Lisboa, Portugal/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 3.0
Steatoda nobilis (false widow spider); male. Note overall 'slimmer' build and swollen palps. Portugal. October 2007.
Adult maleSteatoda nobilis (false widow spider); male. Note overall 'slimmer' build and swollen palps. Portugal. October 2007.©Joaquim Alves Gaspar-2007, Lisboa, Portugal/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 3.0

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Steatoda nobilis (Thorell, 1875)

Preferred Common Name

  • false widow spider

Summary of Invasiveness

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Steatoda nobilis is a member of the genus of false widow spiders (the Steatoda) so called because of their resemblance to the more notorious black widow spiders (genus Latrodectus, also of the family Theridiidae). It is found in the Canary Islands and Madeira and is thought to have been introduced to the UK and other countries of Europe via agricultural imports. In the UK it has been established along the south coast of England for over a century but since the 1980s it has been expanding its range; increasing UK temperatures favour its colonization of homes and outbuildings further north. This is not an aggressive species, however adults may bite humans defensively causing pain, swelling and sometimes more serious complications (Moore, 2003). For further information about the false widow spider in the UK visit the web pages of the Natural History Museum and British Arachnological Society, the latter includes a detailed UK distribution map.

 

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Metazoa
  •         Phylum: Arthropoda
  •             Subphylum: Chelicerata
  •                 Class: Arachnida
  •                     Order: Araneae
  •                         Family: Theridiidae
  •                             Genus: Steatoda
  •                                 Species: Steatoda nobilis

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes

Africa

Spain
-Canary IslandsPresentSnazell and Jones, 1993; Kulczycki et al., 2012

North America

USAPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-CaliforniaPresent, few occurrencesIntroducedVetter and Rust, 2012Newly established in Ventura County

Europe

FrancePresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-CorsicaPresent
IrelandPresent, few occurrencesIntroducedNolan, 1999First report
ItalyPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-Italy (mainland)Present, few occurrencesIntroducedKulczycki et al., 2012First report
-SardiniaPresent, few occurrencesIntroducedKulczycki et al., 2012First report
PortugalPresentSnazell and Jones, 1993
-MadeiraPresentSnazell and Jones, 1993; Kulczycki et al., 2012
SpainPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
UKPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-England and WalesRestricted distributionIntroducedSnazell and Jones, 1993

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial

Links to Websites

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WebsiteURLComment
GISD/IASPMR: Invasive Alien Species Pathway Management Resource and DAISIE European Invasive Alien Species Gatewayhttps://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.m93f6Data source for updated system data added to species habitat list.

Distribution Maps

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