Steatoda nobilis (false widow spider)
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PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Steatoda nobilis (Thorell, 1875)
Preferred Common Name
- false widow spider
Summary of InvasivenessTop of page
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 TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Metazoa
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Subphylum: Chelicerata
- Class: Arachnida
- Order: Araneae
- Family: Theridiidae
- Genus: Steatoda
- Species: Steatoda nobilis
Distribution TableTop of page
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/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Reference||Notes|
|-Canary Islands||Present||Snazell and Jones, 1993; Kulczycki et al., 2012|
|USA||Present||Present based on regional distribution.|
|-California||Present, few occurrences||Introduced||Vetter and Rust, 2012||Newly established in Ventura County|
|France||Present||Present based on regional distribution.|
|Ireland||Present, few occurrences||Introduced||Nolan, 1999||First report|
|Italy||Present||Present based on regional distribution.|
|-Italy (mainland)||Present, few occurrences||Introduced||Kulczycki et al., 2012||First report|
|-Sardinia||Present, few occurrences||Introduced||Kulczycki et al., 2012||First report|
|Portugal||Present||Snazell and Jones, 1993|
|-Madeira||Present||Snazell and Jones, 1993; Kulczycki et al., 2012|
|Spain||Present||Present based on regional distribution.|
|UK||Present||Present based on regional distribution.|
|-England and Wales||Restricted distribution||Introduced||Snazell and Jones, 1993|
Habitat ListTop of page
ReferencesTop of page
Kulczycki A; Legittimo CM; Simeon E; Pompeo Pdi, 2012. New records of Steatoda nobilis (Thorell, 1875) (Araneae, Theridiidae), an introduced species on the Italian mainland and in Sardinia. Bulletin of the British Arachnological Society, 15(8):269-272.
Vetter RS; Rust MK, 2012. A large European combfoot spider, Steatoda nobilis (Thorell 1875) (Araneae: Theridiidae), newly established in Ventura County, California. Pan-Pacific Entomologist, 88:92-97.
Distribution MapsTop of page
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