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Steatoda nobilis and Steatoda grossa

False Widow bite marks
False Widow bite marks
Female Steatoda grossa
Female Steatoda grossa
Female Steatoda grossa capturing a woodlouse
Female Steatoda grossa capturing a woodlouse

There are two species of False Widow found in Wicklow. The larger and more common is Steatoda nobilis, a very handsome species. The smaller species is the almost solid black Steatoda grossa, which very closely resembles the Black Widows (Latrodectids).

These spiders are an invasive species, but it's difficult to tell at this time, if they are a threat to indigenous species.

Both male and female are roughly the same size, but the female has a much larger abdomen and can measure up to 25mm when pregnant.They are now very common in lowland areas coastal Wicklow.

These spiders are mildly venomous to humans, but the bite is considered worse than a bee sting by most people. Steatoda grossa is equally venomous but has lived in Ireland for a longer time, since the 19th century.