Florida has four species of venomous Widow Spiders, of which two, the Southern
Black Widow and the Brown Widow, may be found around buildings.  The Northern
Black Widow is found only in the Florida Panhandle and makes its web at the end of

tree branches.  The Red Widow is mainly found in sand pine scrub habitat.

Venom is neurotoxic (affects nervous system)

A bite victim may feel:
  • Painful rigidity in abdominal muscles
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Rise in body temperature
  • Nausea and Sweating

Death is uncommon (less than 5% of reported cases).

Death in the elderly or very young may occur from asphyxia 14-32 hours after being
Florida Backyard Spiders
Widow Spiders
(Family Theridiidae)
Southern Black Widow
Latrodectus mactans)
Brown Widow
Latrodectus geometricus)
Northern Black Widow
Latrodectus variolus)
Red Widow
Latrodectus bishopi)