False widow – Steatoda – pictures for you…
Dear Bug Man,
I absolutely love your site! In 2005 I was removing some retaining wall blocks in my yard. I lifted one stone and found dozens of these critters scurrying around in the dirt. Initially I got the heebie jeebies because they looked like black widows. Then I realized we aren’t supposed to have black widows in Puget Sound and that I"ve never seen black widows clustered together like that or living under rocks in the dirt, etc. I figured they must be something else. I went on the web and think I identified it as a false widow. In fact, it looks like the false widow that you have posted. Can you confirm that this is a false widow? You are free to use the attached pictures if they are better than what you already have.
I killed one so that I could get good enough pictures to ID it. I let the rest scurry off to somewhere safer. Thanks & Best Regards,
Jim Johnston
Everett, WA

Hi Jim,
Thanks for the compliment. We agree that this looks like one of the Cobweb Spiders in the genus Steatoda. Steatoda grossa is sometimes called the False Widow, and your picture is a very close match to one posted on BugGuide also from Washington.

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