This invasive spider in the U.S. produces venom that is more potent than the dangerous Black Widow

Anita Durairaj
Brown Widow with antPicture by Faris Algosaibi; Wikimedia Commons; CC-SA-2.0

It's called the Brown Widow Spider (Latrodectus geometricus) and it originally entered the U.S. from Florida and then spread throughout the country in the 1990s.

The Brown Widow is thought to have originated from either Africa or South America. It is a tropical spider that is considered to be an invasive species in the U.S.

Initially, the Brown Widow confined itself to the Florida Peninsula but it has now spread to other parts of the U.S. and is found in the Gulf Coast states.

Like the Black Widow, the Brown Widow is considered to be one of the "widow" spiders with the genus Latrodectus. However, there are some key differences between the two spiders.

The Brown Widow is recognized for its tan and brown coloring. The spider has an hourglass that is a lighter shade than the red hourglass color of the Black Widow. Brown Widow female spiders also have a longitudinal abdominal stripe.

On the other hand, the Black Widow female spider is distinguished with a red or orange spot on their abdomen while the male spiders are lighter in color with a yellow or white marking. Black Widow spiders have a characteristic red hourglass shape.

Both the Brown Widow and the Black Widow bite humans and are venomous. However one is more dangerous than the other.

According to some entomologists, the venom of the Brown Widow is three times as potent as the Black Widow's venom. Yet, the Brown Widow's bite is not considered to be as toxic as that of the Black Widow. Scientists think that this is simply because the Brown Widow injects less venom into their victims.

In the U.S., the Black Widow is still considered to be the most dangerous spider but experts warn that care must be taken with the Brown Widow as well.

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