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Widow spider

The widow spiders are members of the spider genus Latrodectus, in the family Theridiidae.

Latrodectus includes approximately 31 recognized venomous species, with the black widow spider (Latrodectus mactans) being the best known member of the group.

The female black widow's venom is particularly harmful to humans (males almost never bite humans).

Spiders of the genus Steatoda (also of the Theridiidae family) are often mistaken for widow spiders, and are known as false widow spiders.

The false widow spiders are significantly less harmful to humans.

Note:   The above text is excerpted from the Wikipedia article "Widow spider", which has been released under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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