Habitat and Biology
There are two species of Steatoda which are known by the name Brown House Spider. These are Steatoda capensis (Hann) and Steatoda grossa (Koch).
This spider is often confused with the red-back spider, which has a similar body shape and web structure. Unlike the red-back spider, the brown house spider never has a red hour-glass marking on the underside of the abdomen. The Brown House spider (sometimes known as the Cupboard spider) is often found indoors in dark places, inside or under furniture. It is uncommon to find the red-back spider in such places. Outdoors, the brown house spider can be found in sheds, under empty plant pots or amongst general refuse.
Egg sac similar to that of the Red-back spider.
Smaller-bodied with longer legs; similar colours to female except white markings more prominent.
Overall body colour is brown to black, typically with a dull white crescent-shaped marking on top of the abdomen, sometimes followed by several dull white spots.
Similar in shape to the red-back spider, with pea-shaped abdomen and slender legs.
Tangled web with sticky catching attached to substrate.
Unlike the red-back spider the bite of the brown house spider is not lethal, but may cause headaches or nausea. Small blisters may occur around the bite site.