Currently viewing the category: "Recluse Spiders"

Subject:  Brown recluse?
Geographic location of the bug:  missouri (Saint Louis)
Date: 09/13/2017
Time: 10:47 PM EDT
Please help! We just moved in to our apartment last month (August) and we think there are brown recluse spiders. So far we have killed about 15. We find most at night, and a few have been stuck in the bathtub or sinks. Almost all stay in dark corners or closets. They look and move exactly like the brown recluses I’ve seen online, and we haven’t found any webs. They can move pretty quickly but don’t jump. I have attached a pic, I’m not sure you will be able to ID it because it’s pretty blurry! Thank you!
How you want your letter signed —

Possibly Brown Recluse

Hi Katie,
This image is too blurry to be certain, but the markings and general shape of the spider you sighted are consistent with the appearance of a Brown Recluse.  Based on BugGuide data, you do live in Brown Recluse territory.

Subject: Spider identification
Location: Missouri
May 19, 2017 7:59 am
Any chance you can help identify this spider?
Signature: Ryan

Brown Recluse Spider

Dear Ryan,
The shape of this spider sure looks like the shape of the Brown Recluse Spider,
Loxosceles reclusa, and sure enough when we enlarged and lightened the image, we could make out the distinctive “violin” marking on the cephalothorax.  Here is a BugGuide image for comparison.  According to BugGuide:  “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. (2The 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.”

Thanks for the reply, that’s what I feared!

Dark Fishing Spiders- Very helpful in the house
Location:  Wildwood, Missouri
Jun 16, 2011,  11:26 PM
I found a couple photos of the mother spider I kept as a pet and her babies. The mother spider was a joy to have around, I first found her in my grandmother’s basement.  She was one of the best spiders I’ve had as a pet, and I’ve had several wolf spiders and a tarantula. Studying her behavior was a joy, and I kept a journal of her behavior. It was interesting to see how much she liked to eat recluses! She’d pick them over crickets when both were in her box. Since releasing a few of her babies outside the house (Most were released at parks with ponds and lakes), there haven’t been any infestation problems!
Use whichever photos you like on your website. Or none if you don’t like them, I don’t mind either way.
All are named by species and dated by when the photo was taken.
The photos are as follows:
My first sighting of a fishing spider, 1 year before the mother spider.

Female Fishing Spider, April 16, 2010

2 months prior to finding her in the basement- suspect its her. Quarter next to her as size reference.
Mother and Babies, day after the babies emerged from egg sac.
Recluse sighting on the ceiling.
The recluse that gave me a bit of a scare when it came up through the toilet. I actually saw it come up!

Fishing Spiderlings, August 3, 2010

Hi Cassie,
We are positively thrilled that you took the time to locate these images.  We are posting half of them with your letter and we are replacing the image of the Fishing Spider on your original posting with another of the images.  You never provided us with a location.  Can you at least provide the state where you took the photos?



Brown Recluse in the toilet


Location is Wildwood, Missouri, just a couple miles from Rockwood Reservation. That was actually one of the places I released some of the babies. I still see some of those that I put in the yard- they love the ground level birdbath on hot days. Being near the reservation means I get to see all sorts of interesting creatures. I’ve raised a wheel bug from the day it hatched, countless wolf spider and mantises, and several other fascinating creepy crawlies. I love monitoring their behaviors, and finding out their favorite foods and environments. I’ve gotten pretty good at recognizing bugs, and when I don’t recognize one I’ll set up a habitat for it, identify it, and study it a couple days. My family used to make bets with each other on if I’d be an entomologist, herpetologist, or artist. If I get any more good snapshots of the local bugs, I’ll be sure to send them!


Loxosceles reclusa
Location:  Decatur, Alabama
August 6, 2010 8:33 am
Hi Bugman,
I already know what this one is, but I thought you might want another photo of a brown recluse spider. I find them from time to time after they get trapped in my bathroom sink (like this one).
Will Sparks

Brown Recluse

Hi Will,
Thank you for providing our readership with a nice clear image of a Brown Recluse.  The dark violin marking on the cephalothorax is plainly visible in your photograph.

Hello Bugman!
Hi, just sending this again, in case it got lost in the metamorphosis shuffle! My big question about this brown recluse is the fact it is two colors, i.e., brown thorax, white abdomen. Any insights as to why that is? Have a great day!

Originally sent: (02/01/2008) Hello Bugman! I live in Arkansas and I know our house is infested with brown recluses. I have just never seen one with a whitish abdomen before. In all respects it sure looks like a brown recluse to me. Could this be a female about to lay eggs? The spider is about half an inch. I found it crawling in a box of clothes. If this is a brown recluse, you might want to post the photo so people know the spider’s color can vary like this. I thought they were not active in winter? This is very scary as I have had two bites, the last one this summer and it was a systemic, severe reaction. Thanks,

Hi Kate,
Your example of a Brown Recluse, Loxosceles reclusa, is consistant with images posted to BugGuide. This species a uniformly colored abdomen, but sometimes is is light and other times darker. The violin shaped marking on on the cephalothorax is distinctive, giving this spider the other common name of Violin Spider.

spider help
Found this crawling on my arm in Tucson, AZ. Any ideas on what it is?? Thanks!

We have had ever so many letters containing paranoid questions wondering if just about every size and color spider that lives in the U.S. might be a Brown Recluse. You have the real McCoy here, Loxosceles reclusa.

The brown recluse is a male (very gangly compared to females). Keep up the great work!