Fun False Widow Spiders Facts For Kids

Martha Martins
Oct 20, 2022 By Martha Martins
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Shikha Sharma
Know more about this anthropod by reading these British False Widow Spider facts
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.3 Min

The False Widow Spider (Steatoda nobilis) is known as the noble False Widow in the United Kingdom. The False Widow have a similar appearance to black widow spiders and is often confused with them and named after the same. There are three types of False Widow Spider, including rabbit hutch spider, cupboard spider and noble false widow. Their appearance was first recorded in southern England in 1897, and are said to be native of Canary Islands. Temperate climates are the most preferred habitat for the Steatoda Nobilis. They can be commonly found both indoors and outdoors. False Widow Spiders can eat both vertebrates and invertebrates. The false black widow spider bite is venomous, and this species of spiders are considered to be most dangerous in the west of Europe. Their sting paralyzes their prey. This species is also known to bite humans wherein the False Widow Spider bite mark leads to a swollen, itchy, red mark that might need some medical care.

Their web does not have a regular pattern and is made up of silky fibers which are sticky in nature. Female False Widow Spiders pose a greater threat to human beings compared to the males as their bite is more stronger and painful. After reading these facts about the False Widow Spider, you may also look at wolf spider facts and Brazilian wandering spider facts.

False Widow Spider Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a False Widow Spider?

The False Widow Spider (Steatoda nobilis) is a type of spider belonging to the family of Theridiidae or Tangle Web Spider. This species is native to Madeira and the Canary Islands. Their population is continuously evolving, and False Widows can be found all over the globe currently. These spiders can often be mistaken for a Black Widow Spider.

What class of animal does a False Widow Spider belong to?

The class of the noble False Widow Spider is Arachnid which mainly includes invertebrates having joint legs. All other species of spiders also belong to the Arachnid class.  

How many False Widow Spiders are there in the world?

The population of these spider species is constantly growing as they can survive in temperate climate conditions. The litter size of the species is large and the conservation status of the False Widow Spiders is of the least concern. False Widows are found in large numbers in the United Kingdom and Southern Africa. False Widow Spider California presence extends to counties like San Diego, Monterey, and Ventura.

Where does a False Widow Spider live?

The woods, farm, house, garden, buildings and fences are the places where the noble False Widow Spiders weave their webs. The False Widow Spider can be dangerous to human beings, as some bite victims can develop allergies and other health conditions after False Widow Spider bite. Dog and cats along with other pet animals are also susceptible to False Black Widow Spider bites.

What is a False Widow Spider's habitat?

False Widow Spiders can survive in locations where the temperature is moderate. They can also be found in areas that are close to the sea. False Widows can be found on the bark of trees, under chairs and tables, gardens, buildings, fences, and even inside of a house. False Widow Spider USA habitat is only in California.

Who do False Widow Spiders live with?

False Widow Spiders are solitary invertebrate animals and come together only while mating. False Widows are mostly nocturnal and do not make nests.

How long does a False Widow Spider live?

A False Widow Spider has a lifespan of 5 years. But False Widows can be killed due to reasons like removal of the web by humans or pesticides or when the weather becomes extremely cold.

How do they reproduce?

The mating season for False Widow Spiders begins in the spring season, and the false widows (female) lays two to three False Black Widow Spider eggs sacs which consist of more than 200 black widow juveniles. The gestation period for False Widow Spiders last for 20 days, and cream-colored eggs are laid. The False Widow Spider male, after mating, can die shortly or could live for a period of 18 months and die.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of False Widow Spiders is of the least concern. Six species of False Widow Spider can be found in the United Kingdom, such as England, while other native species are scattered all over the world. The false black widow spider population is growing, and the major threat to their population is habitat loss and extreme weather conditions.

False Widow Spider Fun Facts

What do False Widow Spiders look like?

False Widow Spiders look similar to black widow spiders. The False Black Widow Spider can be identified by its bulging abdomen that is brown-black in color and the ceramic cream colored markings or spots. The legs are reddish-orange in color, and the female is usually stronger and larger compared to the male. When you compare False Widow Spider vs Black Widow Spider, they can be mistaken for one another, but you can notice various differences in their appearance such as cream coloured markings on abdomen and brown-orange color legs on the body of False Widow Spider.

A False Widow Spider bite is extremely painful.

How cute are they?

Black Widows are not cute as they are spiders. They can bite human beings, and also, their venom is poisonous, which can pose a serious threat to human beings.

How do they communicate?

During courtship, chemical communication takes place with the help of the pheromones released by the female. Vibratory communication can also signal the size of the male and other characteristics. Both the males and the females pass vibratory signals during the courtship period which may indicate sexual potential and sexual readiness.

How big is a False Widow Spider?

The female False Widow Spider size is bigger than the male False Widow Spider. Females can be 0.51-0.59 in long, while the males are 0.19-0.39 in long. The sting of the female is typically more painful as compared to the male False Black Widow Spider. The False Black Widow Spider weighs around 0.03 oz.

How fast can False Widow Spiders move?

False Widow Spiders can move at an average speed. The female is quick and prompt if she is threatened or provoked and would try to escape as quickly as possible. The False Black Widow Spider will also attack the intruder to save their juveniles.

How much does a False Widow Spider weigh?

The weight of a False Widow Spider is 0.035 oz, or approximately 1 g. Female False Widow Spiders have a greater mass as compared to the males.

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for the male and the female False Widow Spiders.

What would you call a baby False Widow Spider?

There is no particular name given to False Widow baby Spider. Black Widow Spider babies are commonly called offspring or juveniles.

What do they eat?

False Widow Spiders eat house flies, fruit flies, bugs, beetles, ticks, small worms, and mosquitoes. Their diet is carnivorous, and they prey on insects for their diet. They paralyze the insect with their sting. Spider cannibalism is a process where the female spiders tend to eat their male mates after, during, or before the sexual activity.

Are they dangerous?

Yes, they can be dangerous for some individuals. Fatalities in children and elders have been reported after a False Widow Spider had bitten them. Though they are venomous, the False Widow Spider venom is not very potent. The sting is painful and wears off after 24 hours. If irritation and inflammation of the skin does not fade away, there might be a chance that the victim is allergic. Their bite has been known to cause a lot of pain like a wasp sting.

Would they make a good pet?

No, spiders cannot make good pets. The False Widow Spiders have a lifespan of 5 years in the wild, and during their lifetime, they mate multiple times and grow their population. They would not make a good pet as they might bite the owner, which causes extreme pain.

Did you know...

Not all species of the False Widow Spiders are native to the United Kingdom. It is believed that they were brought from the Canary Islands in the late 1800s. The female False Widow Spider only attacks while protecting their young, and the males do not sting. The males are often killed by the female after sexual reproduction.

What happens if you get bitten by a False Widow Spider?

Common False Widow Spider bite symptoms include pain which can last for a day. But if there are other symptoms like fever, one should visit the hospital immediately. Their venom is not potent but there have been a few cases of fatality in human beings after they have been bitten by a False Widow Spider. Allergies and infections may also be triggered after the sting of the False Widow Spider and can cause a lot of discomfort that might require local medical attention.

How to get rid of False Widow Spiders?

Spray pesticides or use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of the False Widow Spider as they can bite and even lay eggs in the house if not removed.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arthropods including six eyed sand spider, or orb-weaver spider.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our False Widow Spider coloring pages.

False Widow Spiders Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Mosquitoes, fruit flies, house flies

What Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?


How Much Did They Weigh?

0.03 oz

What habitat Do they Live In?

walls, fences, gardens, bark of the trees, pet houses

Where Do They Live?

britain, northern europe, southern europe, usa

How Long Were They?


How Tall Were They?

0.12-0.59 in







Scientific Name

Steatoda nobilis

What Do They Look Like?

Black and red

Skin Type


What Are Their Main Threats?

habitat loss, humans

What is their Conservation Status?

Least Concern
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Written by Martha Martins

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Linguistics

Martha Martins picture

Martha MartinsBachelor of Arts specializing in Linguistics

Martha is a full-time creative writer, content strategist, and aspiring screenwriter who communicates complex thoughts and ideas effectively. She has completed her Bachelor's in Linguistics from Nasarawa State University. As an enthusiast of public relations and communication, Martha is well-prepared to substantially impact your organization as your next content writer and strategist. Her dedication to her craft and commitment to delivering high-quality work enables her to create compelling content that resonates with audiences.

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