Thursday, 3 January 2013

The coffee bean spider, Steatoda bipunctata

I have just added these photographs on the web site of Steatoda bipunctata, the Coffee bean spider.
I found it on a log that I had actually put into the stove.  I saw something move and hauled it out again, just in time.  I don't know how many times I've done this even though I do brush everything off the logs before I bring them in.  The spider was OK, and I recognised it immediately.  I've seen this one or another of the same species many times when I've gone to bring in logs from the wood pile.  I've tried to catch it, but as I always have on gloves, by the time I get them off it had disappeared.  So finally got one to photograph.  She's a female, and was very friendly.  She walked all over my hand and never attempted to bite, but she wouldn't stay still enough for me to photograph, so I put her in a jar, and went out for a walk.  When I came back she had settled down to make a small web, so I was able to take this photograph.  

I wanted to put her back in the wood pile, but the weather was so horrible that I kept her for another day before putting her back in another stack that will not be disturbed until at least the end of this year.  We are having a mild winter this year, so she should be OK, and who knows perhaps I'll disturb her or her young next year.


  1. Is she poisonous?

  2. Like most spiders she has poison that enters her prey through the fangs when she bites them. However she is nothing like the black widow, although she is in the same family. I don't think the fangs could even penetrate human skin. So no danger to humans, but deadly to insects.

  3. Steadota or Steatoda? There seems to be some disagreement about the spelling. But the weight of evidence is that the correct spelling is Steatoda.

  4. Quite right Beatriz. I'll be changing the spelling on the web site and on the blog. Thanks for pointing this out.


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