Brown Widows Displacing Black Widows

Brown widows are the subject of all kinds of mythology. It is said that their venom digests human flesh, that they are more dangerous the black widows and bent on conquering the US. Most of that is false--but they are crowding out my old friend the Western black widow in some locales. 

Black Widow Spiders May Have Met Their Match - Yahoo! News:

""There may be some competition where brown widows are displacing black widows because there is some habitat overlap. There are also places where only brown widows were able to make homes, but in other habitats the black widows still predominate."

At 72 sites, the researchers found 20 times as many brown widow spiders as black widows."

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  1. At least in my area, black widows are always much more abundant than browns. I've noticed that brown widows seem to prefer higher places, often near the ceiling. I don´t know why...

  2. Each widow species seems to have some strong preferences for height. Both the redback and the Northern black widow are known to make high webs (in trees or in the high corners of buildings), but I at least always found the Southern and Western widows at ground level or not much higher. Maybe habits like this explain why such closely related species retain some integrity even though their ranges overlap quite a bit.


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