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Range of the Brown Recluse - Loxosceles reclusa

Range of the Brown Recluse - Loxosceles reclusa
Distribution data interpreted from

Does anyone think this could be a copyright problem?

How many spiders...?
How many of one spider species must there be in one area for it to be included in a "range"....? I ask because North and South Carolina are not highlighted in this map and according to Clemson University's Department of Entomology, Soils, and Plant Sciences the presence of the Brown Recluse in SC was first confirmed in 1976 in Goose Creek. Since then, they've been found in Liberty, SC and on the Clemson campus. (My father also swears they live in Charleston as well.) Also, when I attended Meredith College in Raleigh, NC in 2004 the president of the college issued a warning via email stating several students had been bitten by the spider. I recall a fellow student mentioning that her dorm mate was bitten and suffered dermal and soft tissue necrosis and had a "hole" in her thigh about 1 inch in depth and 10mm in diameter. Now, whether or not the brown recluse was falsely accused of the bites or they were confirmed by eyewitness or an Entomologist I do not know.
This is a question stemming from pure curiosity. I'm not stating the map is incorrect. :)

Source credited to: J. D. Culin, Extension Entomologist/Professor, and P. M. Horton, Extension Entomologist/Professor, Department of Entomology, Soils, and Plant Sciences, Clemson University. EIIS/MV-6 (New 10/1998).

Part of SC is included in the
Part of SC is included in the map. Look at it this way:Your father misidentified the spider, as do pretty much any person who doesn't know much about spiders.

And one more thing. The fact that is uses the term "poisonous" for spiders, shows that the fact sheet is unreliable.

Your comments are a little rude.
I see that you are new to bugguide, and identifying spiders as well. The fact that you told someone their comment makes you gag, and now telling this person that their father is wrong is not really helpful and more likely to make you look less credible. They stated they were asking simply out of curiosity and I already replied to their comment. It is not necessary to insult them. A lot of people do not understand spiders, or insects, and as the people that would like to educate them and make others aware that they aren't just terrible things that hurt us we need to be understanding of others that are trying to learn. You won't make them believe you're a credible authority on spiders by being rude.

Sorry about the gagging part.
Sorry about the gagging part...
But it's true, he likely did misidentify the spider.
Won't let me edit the comment, so you can remove gag if you wish.

I cannot edit your comments.
Desipite being an editor of the site, I can't edit other people's comments. Just please keep in mind you can be more polite and tactful. As an entomologist people ask me all kinds of questions I think are completely ridiculous, but then I remind myself I'm the one with several years of education in entomology and not everyone has that.

Not a matter of numbers.
The species can be incindental, meaning they show up somewhere periodically, which is what sounds like is happening here. In order for an area to be considered their range they must be established, meaning they have been found in an area for a long time. Of course ranges can change, especially with climate change and humans transporting them around.

As for identifying bites, it's nearly impossible. Bites are misdiagnosed all the time, without the spider there isn't a way to confirm it's a brown recluse bite. I've seen horrible necrotic staph infection initially diasnosed as a recluse bite, and I had a boyfriend who was bit by an everyday common wolf spider (I was there when it happened) he scared and had a horrible allergic reaction which resulted in a necrotic wound.

L. reclusa range
Saw many in s.w. Decatur, AL. In an apartment complex in Mobile, AL I saw small immature individuals often, but never any adults.

On the other hand, spent many years in Starkville (north Mississippi) and in Laurel (south Mississippi) but never saw a single brown recluse in either place.

your map.
great map even if there are mean comments I think its great!

Could just be an estimate
Its always impossible to have a definite range for anything. Plus often times a recluse bite does not mean brown recluse. Other recluses can cause crater-like bites as well. My boyfriend got bit by something that left a crater, but it wasn't a brown recluse.

map estimate
From my studies and observations, the map would be fairly accurate,
also noting that outside the shaded area the loxosceles reclusa
is just simply not going to be found.
I lived in the Dallas Texas area for 3 years, and was not able
to find 'one' specimen of the brown recluse. Well within the
boundary shown on the map.

I'm not disagreeing with the map.
I believe it is fairly accurate, but I also think that a single brown recluse could make its way somewhere on accident. I was just trying to illustrate the point that while a map may not be absolutely 100% accurate I sincerely doubt recieving a crater like bite in Maine means the brown recluse is present there. Many doctors say "its a recluse bite" as a generalization, they often don't know what type of recluse, or really if it is a recluse at all.

This map seems wrong...
I live in Massachusetts, and I know we have brown recluse spiders, I found one in my bathroom the other day, after my boyfriend complained of a bug bite, which turned into a crater wound. My friend Morgan who lives in Pennsylvania has also suffered multiple bites, all diagnosed by a doctor to be recluse bites.

Okay this comment SERIOUSLY m
Okay this comment SERIOUSLY makes me gag.
A bathroom is one of the least likely places you will find a brown recluse, and one of the most likely places you will find the spiders mistaken for brown recluse.
Being diagnosed by a doctor for a brown recluse bite won't tell you anything, an estimates 80% of "brown recluse bites" diagnosed by doctors are MISdiagnosed.

The only way to diagnose a recluse bite is by catching the spider after witnessing the bite, and having the spider identified by someone with training in arachnology.

Doctors are notorious for diagnosing recluse bites in the absence of- and even in direct contradiction to- actual direct evidence as to what caused the bite. There are all kinds of bites, stings, infections, and medical conditions that are very frequently misidentified as recluse bites by even very good doctors.

There are also dozens of species that get misidentified as recluses even by people like entomologists who should know better.

Feel free to post an image of your recluse, though. There's always a faint chance you might be right.

this range seems a little sketchy
I'm not sure about the accuracy of this range map, I live in the Big Bend area of west Texas and I know for a fact the we have Brown Recluses. I was even bitten once when I was little and had the crater wound and everything.

This map is for Loxosceles reclusa
If you follow the link to the map used as a source, you'll see that there's another species that lives in the Bug Bend area: Loxosceles blanda

As far as the range goes
I know for sure that they are not just located in the south eastern United States. I live in western British Columbia Canada(in the top left corner of this map), and my mom was bitten by a recluse in our house. we had the spider for ID. Mom showed me the spider she killed when she got bitten and it took her 3 weeks to go to the doctor, even though I told her over and over and over that it was a recluse and had necrotizing venom. By the time she went, she had a crater of a wound. So I can say without a doubt that the map above is not entirely correct.

Forgive me for being skeptical
Feel free to post an image of any recluse you find: if that's really what it is, it'll be quite a discovery. Unless you're trained in spider identification, though, the odds are pretty good that you're wrong.

There are many, many things that can cause necrotic wounds, including spiders that do live in your area.

I appreciate the consideration, but you guys don't need to credit MapServer or me on these maps. :)

You'd think the copyright on such map "interpretation" has come up before with all the field guides out there. But I couldn't find anything relevant doing a web search. I would think it was safe to make the map and then link to the source.

On a side note, BugGuide's JPEG compression sort of ruins maps uploaded this way.

Thanks for your help!

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