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Brown Widow Spider


The Brown Widow is a very timid spider. They are nocturnal and active in their web - not elsewhere. The female kills its male after mating from time to time. The spider is well known in the United States, Australia and South Africa.

The female can get as big as 16 mm in length while the male is much shorter. It varies from light tan to dark brown or almost black. The markings on a brown widow are not as apparent as on those more darkly coloured. It has markings of black, white, orange and brown on the back of its abdomens. The hourglass of The Brown Widow is orange to yellow in colour and can always be differentiated from other spiders with red hourglasses.

The spider is not aggressive and will retreat when disturbed. Bites normally occur when a spider becomes accidentally pressed against the skin of a person. They do not attack without reason. The venom from a brown widow is about twice as potent as venom from a black widow. A bite does require urgent medical treatment (5 minutes) in worst cases. However in a lot of cases a bite from a brown widow will only cause pain because of the bite in itself and in other cases a red marking will occur at the site of a bite. But only one out of twenty bites causes death. Most die after severe pain and respiratory failure (children) or heart failure (adults).