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Brown recluse spider

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Brown recluse spider
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Scientific Classification
Binomial Name

Loxosceles reclusa

The brown recluse is a species recluse spiders also known as the fiddle-backs (genus Loxosceles). The recluse spiders tend to avoid humans as suggested by their name, which is preferable because contact with them can have devastating results. They are a venomous spiders known for their necrotic bites.

God made the Brown Recluse spider, along with all other animals, on the fifth day of creation. Genesis 1:24- And God said, "Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind." And it was so.


Brown recluse.jpg
Quarter for scale.
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Violin shape.
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Six eyes of 2s.

The size of the Brown Recluse spider varies. The adult spider usually is the size of a U.S. quarter, or a little bit larger. This is when their legs are fully extended. The long, thin legs do not have thickened spines, but they are covered with tiny hairs.

The coloring of the brown recluse spider is pretty consistant throughout its entire body. Though there is not much contrasting pigmentation in young brown recluses, the adults can easily be identified by its most recognizable feature: a violin-shaped pattern on its back, as seen in the picture at left. This is how the spider got its nickname: the Fiddleback Spider. In younger spiders, this feature is less obvious. The general color of this spider is a tan to dark brown.

Another distict feature of this spider is its eye pattern. The arrangement consists of six eyes in three groups of two, which can be seen well in one of the gallery pictures. The brown recluse is different than most other U.S. spider species because most other species have eight eyes arranged in two rows of four eyes.


The brown recluse's off-white silky egg sacs contain about 40-50 eggs. The egg sacs, which are found in the spider's irregular webbing, are about two-thirds of an inch. Once the tiny spiders hatch, they are on their own. They slowly, but gradually increase in size until they are mature in about one year. The young spiders must molt five to eight times before becoming an adult. The immature stages closely resemble the adults except for the size and color.[1]

The average lifespan of a brown recluse spider is two to four years depending on its weather conditions and food availability.The female will produce up to five egg sacs throughout her lifespan.


A recluse out in search of food in daylight.

Brown recluse spiders are found mainly in the south central and midwestern areas of the United States, but they have also been found as far north as Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio.[2]

Out in nature, the brown recluse spider usually lives under rocks, logs, woodpiles, old sheds, or anything else that will provide a shady hiding place during the daytime hours. Hiding under the protection of the mossy loam, the spider will stay until its night before going out on its hunt for insect prey, either alive or dead.

The brown recluse spider is also very well adapted to living indoors. It becomes a problem when they decide to make their home with humans. They can easily withstand the heat of a hot, stuffy attic in summer, as well as the cold chill of a dark, unheated basement during winter time. Many times they will seek out the protection of the sheets of our beds or a shoe that has been left out. Other articles of clothing left on the floor in path of a recluse spider could also appear to be a perfect place to make its home in "recluse" of the world. They will rarely venture out in broad daylight away from their secluded homes unless motivated by hunger or overcrowding of other recluses in the area. [3] They can sometimes be seen scampering across floors or from furniture to furniture, as seen in the picture at right. These spiders are not usually female, but males. They tend to travel farther away from their seclusion than females travel.

Unlike many other spiders, the brown recluse spider does not use a web to capture food. Many people think that brown recluses inhabit their home when they see webs strung from ceilings, walls, and other exposed areas, but this is nearly always caused from other spider species, not the dreaded recluse spider. Many harmless brown spiders are mistaken for the brown recluse. They do, although, have irregular webbing lining their daytime retreats, which is used to form their egg sacs.


Related References