Steatoda nobilis  (THERIDIIDAE)

Steatoda nobilis

This spider is commonly known as the "noble false widow" and has a totally un-deserved reputation for being dangerous, or even deadly! In reality, it is capable, under extreme provocation, of giving a painful nip, but instances of this are extremely rare. During the day it hides away behind bark on trees or in crevices on buildings. After dark it emerges to entrap prey on its untidy web. The photograph shows a female Steatoda nobilis hanging from its web on the eaves of a shed. The white horseshoe pattern round the front of the abdomen is characteristic of Steatoda sp. Steatoda nobilis has a distinctive pattern on the back of the abdomen, sadly not easily distinguished in the photograph.
The features in the micrographs should be compared with those of Steatoda bipunctata and Steatoda grossa.

Head and chelicerae of a female Steatoda nobilis The bottom end of the chelicerae of Steatoda nobilis, viewed from the side nearest the mouthparts. Note the absence of teeth on the chelicerae and the horizonal rest position of the fangs. Left Pedipalp (male sexual organ) of Steatoda nobilis

Epigyne (female sexual organ) of Steatoda nobilis Spinnerets of Steatoda nobilis Tarsal claw of Steatoda nobilis