There are 2 groups of Button Spiders in Southern Africa. The black Button Spider and the Brown Button Spider groups.

There are 2 groups of Button Spiders in southern Africa. The Black Button Spider and the Brown Button Spider groups.

The name “Button Spider” refers to the shape of the abdomen which is round like a button. All Button Spiders have neurotoxic venom. Only the females have been implicated in bites as the males are too small to bite through human skin.

There is great confusion regarding southern African Button spiders.

  • We have Black Button Spiders, not Black Widow Spiders.
  • Black Button Spiders do not have a red hourglass marking under the abdomen.
  • Brown Button Spiders are not always brown in colour.
  • No one has ever died from a verified Button Spider bite in southern Africa… ever!
  • Antivenom is sometimes used in the treatment of Black Button Spider bites.

Button Spiders live inside webs and do not wander about. Bites from these spiders are not common.

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The American Black Widow Spider is very different from southern African Button Spiders and the 2 should not be confused.

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