The Find-a-Spider Guide

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Grey house spider

Fact Box
Parasteatoda tepidariorum
(World Spider Catalog)
Previous species name:
Achaearanea tepidariorum (JS)
Body length:
female: 7 mm
male: 3 mm
This species builds a thin, tangled web like that of a redback spider
Uncertain: see note below
Parasteatoda tepidariorum
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The female
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Male and female
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The web
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While this species may establish in garden shrubs, it has a fondness for the undersides of outdoor furniture and other open containers. Its general shape resembles that of a redback spider but its colour scheme is very different.

Note that Isbister and Gray (Journal of toxicology; Clinical toxicology, 2003, Vol. 41, pages 809-819) have recorded that bites by Achaeaeanea (or equivalent) species in Australia can cause moderate to severe local pain though probably no systemic effects.

Known range: Found mainly in darker spaces within houses in South-east Queensland down to Adelaide and Tasmania and also around Perth. It is likely to be in other parts of Australia as well.

Spider(s) with a very similar appearance: Cryptachaea veruculata.

Email Ron Atkinson for more information.    Last updated 20 January 2022.