European Black Widow

The European Black Widow or Mediterranean Black Widow (Latrodectus tredecimguttatus) is a species of arachnid commonly found throughout the Mediterranean region. It ranges from Spain to southeast Asia. Other common names for this spider are malmignatte spider, karakurt, and steppe spider. Many believe this is the same species of spider that plagued farmers from Taranto for many years. Many also believe that this spider is a subspecies of the American Black Widow. Its habitat is steppe and other grasslands. It is a significant pest in areas where grain is harvested by hand.

This spider is black in color and is similar to other widow species. There are 13 spots found on the upper side of the abdomen (the species name tredecimguttatus is Latin for “thirteen spots”). The spots are typically red in color, but may also be orange or yellow. This spider, like all Latrodectus species, is venomous and has a bite that can be fatal to humans. There are reports of the bite of this spider killing camels in Kazakhstan.