Theridiidae

 

Theridiidae are the cobweb weavers. These spiders are common in and around houses and other structures, where they make irregular webs. Except for adult males looking for mates, they prefer to stay in webs in secluded corners. The widow spiders belong to this family and sometimes show up on fruit or boxes from other parts of the country. Spiders should not be released into areas where they are not native. However, widows are easy to keep on a diet of crickets or fruit flies (weekly or every couple of weeks), provided that the spiders are kept out of direct light (they are nocturnal), watered weekly, and given enough space to make a web. “Hitchhiking” females are often gravid and lay eggs in captivity. Theridiids guard their egg sacs and can be found with many empty egg sacs and immatures nearby. Widows have stronger venom than our native theridiids, but the spiders are docile and bites are uncommon. People are MUCH more likely to be injured by a pet dog or cat than by ANY spider.