While doing some work in our basement I saw a spider and its shape and colour is unlike anything I've seen around here. I live in the northern part of Belgium.

The spider is black, almost shiny and as far as I can tell bears no marks on their thick, round body. The front legs arch up. It kind of reminds me of a (Black) Widow. The spider is not very large, but I didn't dare getting any closer to measure.

The spider was in its web, near a vent. It could get drafty up there I assume, and there's some natural light from outside, at the other end of the vent.

You can see the spider in the picture below, alongside electrical wiring. Hopefully that gives an indication of its size.


Based on some Googling, I'm assuming this is a False Widow and hence not dangerous, but I would appreciate some second opinion on this.

  • 2
    Do you have an image from the back of it?
    – PMF
    Commented Jun 27, 2023 at 12:46
  • Unfortunately no, I'm unable to get a good different angle
    – thomaux
    Commented Jun 27, 2023 at 13:07

1 Answer 1


You are correct! This is a False Black Widow or Steatoda grossa The spider superficially resembles, and is frequently confused for, the black widow and other venomous spiders in the genus Latrodectus.

  • No problem! Happy to help :)
    – Arrow
    Commented Apr 18 at 11:21
  • 1
    I was brought up believing that False Widows are also venomous, but not quite as bad as an actual Black Widow? Commented Apr 18 at 15:21
  • @JimmyFix-it Correct! Although false widows do have a venomous bite, the venom is not particularly potent. Usually the only symptom is pain at the site which may radiate away from the bite. It ordinarily lasts between one and 12 hours, and rarely lasts for more than 24 hours. Often, the symptoms are no worse than the pain of a wasp sting. (Source: nhm.ac.uk)
    – Arrow
    Commented Apr 18 at 16:01
  • Yikes, I hate wasps and now also hate False Widows, LOL. Commented Apr 18 at 17:56

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