Brown recluse spider facts

Brown recluse spider facts

Brown recluse spider fact – range
The Brown recluse spider is found in the United States; from the southern Midwest to the Gulf of Mexico. If you look at a map where its range have been marked, you will she how the range border stretches from south-east Nebraska to south-west Ohio via the southern parts of Iowa, Illinois and Indiana. In the southern parts of the United States you will find Brown recluse spiders from central Texas to western Georgia. Only occasional specimens have been found west of the Rocky Mountains.  

Brown recluse spider bites are sometimes reported from California, but this is most likely cases of misdiagnosis since California is not within the range of the Brown recluse spider. It is instead most likely bites caused by other spider species, or not spider bites at all. Brown recluse spider bites are known to have been confused with conditions such as Staphylococcus and Streptococcusinfections. There is now a test available for doctors that can detect brown recluse venom.

Brown recluse spider facts – description
The normal size of an adult Brown recluse spider is ¼ - ¾ inch (6 -19 millimetres), but some specimens will grow bigger. The body coloration of the Brown recluse spider varies from brown to a light tan shade, and there are markings on the dorsal side of the cephalothorax. One less known Brown recluse spider fact is that it is called Violin spider or Fiddleback spider in some parts of the country since it has a violin shaped decoration that starts in the form of a black line at the dorsal side of its cephalothorax. The neck of the violin points to the rear of the animal. The violin marking is not visible in all spiders, and it is therefore unwise to relay solely on it when trying to determine the species.  

A more reliable way of determining whether or not a spider is a recluse spider is to look at its eyes. A majority of the worlds’ spiders have eight eyes, while recluse spiders have no more than six. The eyes are arranged in pairs; two lateral pairs and one median pair. This is an important Brown recluse spider fact since this type of arrangement can be seen in just a small number of spider species, such as the scytodids. Separating scytodids from recluses is however not difficult, since the legs and abdomen of a recluse spider never display any coloration pattern. The legs are also without spines. 

Brown recluse spider fact – web
One example of an interesting Brown recluse spider fact concerns its web. The Brown recluse spider is renowned for building an irregular web, and will often built itself a small shelter from unruly threads of silk. This is true not only for the Brown recluse spider, but for other recluse spiders as well.

Another out-of-the ordinary Brown recluse spider fact is how it leaves its web during the night to hunt. This is quite uncommon in web making spiders, since they usually prefer to stay and wait for prey to become entangled in the web.

Humans will typically find the webs of Brown recluse spiders in garages, sheds, woodpiles and similar placed where the spider will be left undisturbed by human activity most of the day. It appreciates human made shelters and the rain-free environment.  


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