Brown Widow Spider


Actual Size: ¼ to 1”

Characteristics: Black or dark brown with an orangish hourglass marking on the underside of the abdomen.

Legs: 8

Habitat: Builds webs in secluded and protected sites such as buckets, empty containers, and garages.


  • Young male brown widows do not bite.
  • Timid and generally avoids human interaction.
  • Has an orangish hourglass on its underside, similar to the black widow.

Brown Widow Spiders in Memphis TN Metro Area

Brown widow spiders, also known as cobweb spiders, are commonly found in Memphis TN Metro Area. They are named cobweb spiders due to their irregular web structures. The brown widow spider initially entered the U.S. in Memphis TN Metro Area and has since expanded its range during the 1990s. In appearance, the brown widow resembles the black widow spider; however, the hourglass marking on the brown widow is yellowish-orange or reddish-orange, as opposed to the bright red hourglass of the black widow.

Male brown widow spiders do not bite, and they are not considered venomous. However, the female brown widow spider is venomous and capable of injecting a neurotoxic venom when it bites its prey. It’s important to exercise caution and avoid handling or provoking female brown widow spiders to minimize the risk of being bitten.

Brown Widow Spider Habitat

The brown widow spider tends to construct its web in secluded and protected areas, both around homes and within woody vegetation with branches. These spiders have a preference for specific sites when building their webs. Some common locations include empty containers like buckets and nursery pots, mailboxes, corners of entryways, undersides of eaves, storage closets, garages, and the undersides of outdoor furniture and wrought iron railings. Unlike black widows, brown widows tend to select sites that are more exposed, which may increase the likelihood of interactions with humans and the potential for bites. It’s important to be cautious when encountering brown widow spiders in these areas and take measures to minimize contact and reduce the risk of being bitten.

Brown Widow Spider Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

The bite of a brown widow spider is generally less severe compared to that of a black widow spider. Brown widow bites do not typically cause the same symptoms as a black widow bite. Although the venom of the brown widow spider is approximately twice as potent as that of the black widow, it is believed that brown widows do not inject the same amount of neurotoxin when they bite.

Brown widow spiders are generally timid and tend to avoid interaction with humans. In fact, male and immature brown widow spiders are not known to bite at all. While brown widow spider bites are typically not considered medically threatening, it is still important for individuals who are sensitive or have adverse reactions to seek medical attention if they experience severe pain and swelling as a result of a bite. It’s always better to err on the side of caution and consult with a healthcare professional if there are any concerns or unusual symptoms after a spider bite.

If you are dealing with a brown widow spider problem in your home, contact your local spider exterminators for help.