They vary from light tan to dark brown or almost black, with variable markings of black, white, yellow, orange, or brown on the back of their abdomens.
The underside of the abdomen, if you can see it, contains the characteristic hourglass marking. Unlike the black widow, the hourglass is orange to yellow orange in color.
With the brown widow, however, there is another way to detect its presence. Its egg sac is very different from those of the other widow spiders. Instead of the smooth white to tan surface, the outside of the egg sac is covered with pointed projections giving it the appearance of a globe with many pointed protuberances on its surface.
The brown widow will breed all year long in some parts of the United States.
Spiderlings hatch from egg sacs in approximately 3 – 8 weeks.
The brown widow builds its web in secluded, protected sites around our homes, often very near our presence.
It has a fondness for buildings but will construct its web in all kinds of man-made structures, and even vegetation.