FAUNA and FUNGHI of MALTA
(www.MaltaFauna.com)
Steatoda paykulliana  (Walckenaer, 1805)
Taxonomical Classification:  Animalia / Arthropoda / Arachnida / Araneae / Theridiidae
False Black Widow     Maltese name not known
Further Information:
Species of the genus Steatoda, are distributed worldwide many of which are cosmopolitan species which are found among human populations.They are dark or black spiders with a white or coloured line around the anterior back, in addition to other lines or spots. This species has a contrasting red line as it can be seen from the photos.

They are called false black widows because they resemble widow spiders in size and physical form, due to being members of the same family. While the bite of Steatoda spiders is nowhere near as serious as that of true widow spiders, several of these spiders do have medically significant bites, such as this species - Steatoda paykulliana . The bite of Steatoda grossa, commonly known as the Cupboard spider, is known to cause symptoms which have been described as a very minor widow bite

Steatoda spiders construct a tangle web, i.e., an irregular tangle of sticky silken fibers. As with other web-weavers, these spiders have very poor eyesight and depend mostly on vibrations reaching them through their webs to orient themselves to prey or warn them of larger animals that could injure or kill them. They are not aggressive, and most injuries to humans are due to defensive bites delivered when a spider gets unintentionally squeezed or pinched somehow. It is possible that some bites may result when a spider mistakes a finger thrust into its web for its normal prey, but ordinarily intrusion by any large creature will cause these spiders to flee.Three Steatoda specimens were anesthetized and painted with red and blue designs for the filming of Sam Raimi\'s Spider-Man (2002










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