I speak, of course, of Brown Widow Spiders:
Huh? What did you think I was talking about?
“The Brown Widow Spider is a cosmopolitan tropical and subtropical spider having established populations in Hawaii, Florida, some Caribbean Islands, parts of Australia, South Africa, Japan, and Cyprus,” according to the website.
In North America, the Brown Widow Spider was restricted for many decades to the Florida peninsula.
“However, around the year 2000, it started showing up in other Gulf Coast states. Brown widows are now known from Texas to Georgia and South Carolina. As specimens were found in new locations in the southeastern United States, this species was simultaneously being collected with greater frequency in southern California. The first specimens were collected in Torrance in 2003. After that, the spider was found with greater frequency in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties,” the website says.
The brown widow has apparently made inroads into North Carolina, said Susan Brown, horticulture agent with Cooperative Extension of New Hanover County.
“The brown widow spider is fairly timid. I currently have a live sample in my office in a jar,” Brown said. “They are brown instead of black and they do have an orange hourglass on the belly.”
Brown widow spiders are rarely known to bite “and are unable to inject a substantial amount of venom into a victim,” Brown said.
A spokesman for the National Association for the Advancement of Black Widows (NAABW) called the accusation that Black Widows are dangerous "racist."