Steatoda Bipunctata – Rabbit Hutch Spider

The Steatoda bipunctata, commonly called rabbit hutch spider is a black spider found throughout the United States. It comes from the same family as the feared black widow spiders and is often confused with them. The bite of a rabbit hutch spider is not dangerous for humans. It is from the same genus as the Steatoda triangulosa spider.

Steatoda bipunctata
Photography by: K. J. Ester – Madison Heights, Michigan

Description

Most often, the S. bipunctata is brown and has a thin, light colored, stripe that curves around the front of the abdomen as well as running down the middle of it a short ways. The abdomen on this fellow is not always as glossy as the others.

The Rabbit Hutch Spider is also known as the False Widow because it is nearly the same size and has a similar body shape. When they are black, they are often confused with the Widow, except they do not have the tell-tale red hourglass marking on the bottom of their abdomen.

Rabbit hutch spider
Photography by: Ken Mirman – Machiasport, Maine

Size

The Steatoda Bipunctata are one of the smaller Steatoda, as the females only grow to about 5/16” (8mm). Including the legs that would be a little more than a half inch. Maybe as large as 5/8” (16mm).

Bites

There is extremely little information available on the effects of a bite by the Steatoda bipunctata. A large reason for this is because there are so few bites by them.

The S. bipunctata is a very timid spider and only bites when it absolutely needs to. In some articles I found on-line, it is reported that they cannot penetrate the human skin. I read one article saying that it is very rare to be bit by them but when they do it is no worse than a bee sting. One thing for sure, of the different Steatoda, the Bipunctata seems to be one of the least dangerous.

Steatoda bipunctata picture

Scientific Classification of Steatoda bipunctata

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Subphylum: Chelicerata
  • Class: Arachnida
  • Order: Araneae
  • Infraorder: Araneomorphae
  • Family: Theridiidae
  • Genus: Steatoda
  • Species: Steatoda bipunctada

Distribution of the Rabbit Hutch Spider in the USA

The Steatoda bipunctata can be found throughout the United States and Canada. Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Steatoda Bipunctata – Rabbit Hutch Spider

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