Steatoda capensis

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Steatoda capensis
Steatoda capensis.jpg
Female Steatoda capensis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Family: Theridiidae
Genus: Steatoda
Species: S. capensis
Binomial name
Steatoda capensis
Hann, 1990

Steatoda capensis is a spider originating from South Africa. Its common names include the black cobweb spider, brown house spider, cupboard spider and due to its similarities to the katipo spider it is commonly known as the false katipo in New Zealand.[1] Common throughout Southern Africa,[2] it has been introduced into other countries and is now present in Australia and throughout New Zealand.[3] It is a small spider, usually an all-over shiny black it may have a small bright red, orange, or yellow patch near the tip of the abdomen along with a crescent shaped band near the front of the abdomen.[4]

It is thought that in some instances Steatoda capensis can bite humans causing a syndrome known as steatodism; which has been described as a less-severe form of latrodectism.[5] Bites can be quite painful and can cause a general malaise for about a day.[6]


  1. ^ Sutton ME, Christensen B, Hutcheson JA (April 2006). "Field identification of katipo (DOC Research & Development Series 237)" (PDF). Department of Conservation, Wellington, New Zealand. Retrieved 2008-06-12. 
  2. ^ Hann SW (1994). "Descriptions of four Steatoda species (Araneae, Theridiidae) found in New Zealand". New Zealand Journal of Zoology. 21 (2): 225–38. doi:10.1080/03014223.1994.9517989. 
  3. ^ "False katipo spider". Biosecurity New Zealand. Archived from the original on 2008-05-15. Retrieved 2008-06-12. 
  4. ^ Forster, Ray; Forster, Lyn (1999). Spiders Of New Zealand And Their Worldwide Kin. Dunedin: University Of Otago Press. p. 180. ISBN 1-877133-79-5. 
  5. ^ Isbister GK, Gray MR (2003). "Effects of envenoming by comb-footed spiders of the genera Steatoda and Achaearanea (family Theridiidae: Araneae) in Australia". J. Toxicol. Clin. Toxicol. 41 (6): 809–19. PMID 14677791. doi:10.1081/CLT-120025346. 
  6. ^ "Black cobweb or false katipo spider (Steatoda capensis)". Te Papa, New Zealand. Retrieved 2008-06-12. 

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