Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes



Species Loxosceles reclusa - Brown Recluse

Brown recluse, female - Loxosceles reclusa - female Brown Recluse - Loxosceles reclusa Spider - Loxosceles reclusa - male Spider - Loxosceles reclusa Loxosceles reclusa Brown Recluse - Loxosceles reclusa - juvenile - Loxosceles reclusa Loxosceles reclusa  - Loxosceles reclusa Loxosceles reclusa  - Loxosceles reclusa
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Chelicerata (Chelicerates)
Class Arachnida (Arachnids)
Order Araneae (Spiders)
Infraorder Araneomorphae (True Spiders)
No Taxon (Synspermiata)
Family Sicariidae
Genus Loxosceles (Brown Spiders)
Species reclusa (Brown Recluse)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Explanation of Names
Loxosceles reclusa Gertsch & Mulaik, 1940
body length 8-9 mm (1) (approximately 1/3 inch)
The brown recluse has six eyes.
The legs are uniformly colored and covered with fine hairs. The legs have no stripes, banding, or spines on them. The abdomen is also uniformly colored.

Its web is medium-size and irregular. Has a maze of threads in all directions without a pattern or plan. (2)
See map:
Also see this article which states the recluse has been found in eight counties in FL.

"Recluses are occasionally found [in Florida], sometimes a population, but they are exterminated" -Rick Vetter, personal communication, 7/9/2011.
Life Cycle
The egg sacs are attached to a surface--see this photo.
Caution: This spider is venomous and can harm people, though large numbers of BRS are sometimes found in close proximity to people w/o their getting bitten. (3)

The Brown Recluse is very shy and nocturnal, therefore most likely encountered at night when it is foraging for food. During the day the brown recluse hides in secluded places.
An interesting fact is the brown recluse cannot bite through clothing because of its small fangs.
Most brown recluse bites result in only a small red mark and heal without serious complications.
The bite of the brown recluse is usually painless and many go unnoticed for as long as 2 to 8 hours or the victim may feel a stinging sensation later followed by intense pain. A small white blister develops at the site of the bite, followed by swelling of the area. This swollen area enlarges and becomes red. The site becomes painful and hard to the touch. A necrotic lesion develops and the affected tissue dies and slowly sloughs away exposing the underling tissue. This necrotic ulcer may persist for several months and heals slowly, leaving a sunken area of scar tissue.
It is exceedingly hard for a physician to correctly diagnose a "brown recluse bite" based simply on the wound characteristics.
In very rare cases, the bite may result in a systemic reaction accompanied by fever, chills, dizziness, rash or vomiting.
Print References
Gertsch, W. J. & Mulaik, S. (1940). The spiders of Texas. I. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 77: 307-340.
Vetter, R.S. & D.K. Barger. (2002) An Infestation of 2,055 Brown Recluse Spiders (Araneae: Sicariidae) and No Envenomations in a Kansas Home: Implications for Bite Diagnoses in Nonendemic Areas. Journal of Medical Entomology 39 (6): 948–951. (3)
Borror et al, page 106 (4)
Howell and Jenkins, pp. 70-73, figs. 21, 22 (1)
Works Cited
1.Spiders of the Eastern US, A Photographic Guide
W. Mike Howell and Ronald L. Jenkins. 2004. pearson education.
2.Eastern Forest Insects
Whiteford L. Baker. 1972. U.S. Department of Agriculture · Forest Service.
3.An Infestation of 2,055 Brown Recluse Spiders (Araneae: Sicariidae) and No Envenomations in a Kansas Home: Implications...
Vetter, R.S. & D.K. Barger. 2002. Journal of Medical Entomology 39 (6): 948–951.
4.Borror and DeLong's Introduction to the Study of Insects
Norman F. Johnson, Charles A. Triplehorn. 2004. Brooks Cole.