Q:

Are Hawaiian Happy Face Spiders poisonous?

A:

Quick Answer

The Hawaiian happy face spider, Theridion grallator, is not poisonous. While the arachnid belongs to the same family as the feared black widow, it lacks the toxic venom. The species is named for the array of color patterns across the abdomen, some of which resemble a smiling face.

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Full Answer

The species is native to at least four Hawaiian islands, living at elevations of 1,000 to 6,000 feet on the underside of leaves where it builds its webs. The Hawaiian happy face is one of less than 1 percent of spiders worldwide where the female cares for the young after they have hatched. The small spiders are roughly 1/4 of an inch in size.

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