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Our First Loxosceles. - Loxosceles blanda - female

Our First Loxosceles. - Loxosceles blanda - Female
White's City, Eddy County, New Mexico, USA
September 9, 2005
Size: half inch, more or less
Found this spider under a railroad tie just before sunset. The temperature was about 85 degrees, with partially overcast skies after a desert thunderstorm. I know everyone wants to ID a brown recluse (Loxosceles reclusa), but this is the only pic I have, so we most likely can't get it down to species. I suspect it is the right genus, however. What do you think?

Moved from Brown Spiders.
Location and carapace markings are a perfect match for blanda. I think image can safely be moved here.

Moved to new guide page
I created a guide page for Loxosceles genus spiders, and have moved the image to that page.

Thanks for posting a great image, and please keep sharing!! :)

Loxosceles Guide Page
Thanks for creating the Loxosceles guide page. People will finally have an image of an actual spider of that genus with which to compare their Agelenidae and Lycosidae. And I'll keep sharing my love of insects and arachnids with other like-minded people.

I would agree with you...
I would agree this definitely looks like a Loxosceles spp. If you look closely, it has three sets of two eyes (for a total of six eyes, whereas most spiders have eight eyes), and the eye pattern is correct for Loxosceles (based on what I can see, what I know, and my trusted resource (1)). :)

I would also argue it is not a brown recluse (L. reclusa) because their observed range only goes as far west as mid-Texas (although some have been found outside the range, as hitchhikers on vehicles and interstate commerce). But there are plenty of other Loxosceles spp. in the West (which are not nearly as harmful/dangerous as the L. reclusa)...

Nice find!

Definitely a Loxosceles reclusa
Through all I have studied on them it is definitly a Brown Recluse aka "Fiddleback" or "Violin" spider. The distinctive mark, the violin shape on it's cephlothorax, is clearly seen. Not for sure how it wondered to New Mexico, could be spreading or was shipped from within the Brown Recluse known range and made itself at home.

Here's a link to back it up

Doubt it's a Brownie
I live in Lucerne Valley, CA, 1/2 an hour east of Apple Valley/Victorville, smack in the Mojave desert. Terrain and climate obviously not too different from New Mexico.
I have managed to catch 2 desert recluses in my actually in my bedroom! The spider pictured is identical to the one still remaining in a terrarium I made out of an old spaghetti sauce jar. Within the last 40 years in California, only 10 spiders have ever been identified as L. reclusa. Brown recluses exist only in the central and southern midwest states; desert recluses are endemic to the deserts of the southwest United States.
You can distinguish this spider from a brownie due to the fact that it's not really...brown. It's a desert-sand-tan color. Second of all, the violin on its back is much lighter compared to the coloration of the marking in browns; in fact, the marking may be non-existent in some desert recluses, particularly juveniles.
Now, you say there are four Loxosceles species indigenous to New Mexico. I don't doubt at all that L. deserta is one of them. But the spider you have could also be one of the other three. I'm just trying to help by throwing out my own opinions and experiences.


Thanks for the reply. I also use Spiders and Their Kin, along with the Audubon guide to Insects and Spiders, and a couple of other sources. I sent the image to a local (Albuquerque) entomologist and he says that although he can't identify it to the species level without actually having it in his possession, the possibility exists that it is L. reclusa, and not one of the four other species of Loxosceles found in New Mexico. We will never know for sure, but I was very excited to find this little guy--whatever his species) so close to my motel.

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