False widow spider (Steatoda capensis)
- Last edited 3 years ago by Maintenance script
Species: S. capensis
Scientific name: Steatoda capensis
Common name: False katipo spider, Black cobweb spider, False widow spider.
They are a spider with a body length up to 7 mm.
Originating from South Africa it is now commonly found in New Zealand. They can be found
under logs or in any dark places. It is much more common than the katipo. They catch small crawling insects.
Unlike the katipo the bite of the false katipo spider is not harmful, but it stings and the area aches for an hour. It may also cause headaches or nausea. Small blisters may occur around the bite site.
Below is photo on a False Katipo that has been feeding on another False Katipo
Steatoda capensis when disturbed they will curl up and stay motionless.
Another spider in defence position.
Female on some firewood. One egg nest is completed and she is building another that is just visible under her abdomen.
Steatoda capensis and her egg sacs
A male Steatoda capensis with distintive markings.
Side view of a male Steatoda capensis
Sean Hann's 1994 paper (NZ J Zool: 21:2, 225-238) on Steatoda states S. capensis has a variety of possible markings, including a yellow band as in photo below.
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