Photo by Jerry Schudda
Brown Widow – Latrodectus geometricus
A lighter color and slightly smaller spider than the Black Widow with a yellow to orange hourglass on its abdomen, the Brown Widow is found on every continent except Antarctica. Although still venomous, Brown Widow bites are not considered to be as painful as the Black Widow’s. This spider has also been suggested to be outcompeting Black Widow populations for habitat as it continues to spread across the globe.
Brown Widow’s contain alpha latrotoxin in their venom that is unique to the family including Black Widows. This toxin causes sustained, painful muscle spasms which can affect all the muscles in the body simultaneously, and is particularly felt in the larger muscle groups.