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Common Name: Brown Recluse

Scientific Name: Loxosceles reclusa


Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Arthropoda

Class: Arachnida

Order: Araneae

Family: Sicariidae

Genus: Loxosceles

Species: L. reclusa


One of the most feared spider species in America is the “Brown Recluse”. At last count, there are 10 verified native species in the United States. The Brown Recluse is a well-known spider that is normally found in Texas, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Arkansas, West Virginia, Indiana, Illinois, West Virginia south, and west Nevada, although some Brown Recluse are found in the Eastern California Desert but seeing them outside these areas is rare. The Brown Recluse usually is found in the inside of furniture, boxes, firewood and in other dark out of the way locations. But in the wild, they like to hide in crevices, under rocks in bushes and trees.


Within the different species of the Brown Recluse, they share many of the same characteristics. Those characteristics are a violin like a mark starting immediately after the head on the cephalothorax, 6 eyes paired on its face by two’s, and the fact that they don’t have banded legs. The average size of the Brown Recluse is about the size of a quarter.


The Brown Recluse’s diet usually consists of firebrats, crickets, cockroaches and other soft-bodied creatures. They weave webs, but they leave the web to hunt and kill at night. Since they usually live in houses they eat insects that live in dark excluded areas.


This type of spider lays eggs sacks between the months of May and September. These egg sacks are approximately 1/3 of an inch in diameter and containing about 40 to 50 eggs. Females can lay eggs 1-2 times a year. After about two weeks of incubation the young spider's hatch. But it will take a couple of weeks until they are full grown. The Brown Recluse’s lifespan is between 2 to 4 years.


Even though the Brown Recluse is usually in hiding during the day, they could be eaten if found. Their predators are Cobweb spiders, birds, and other non-related Brown Recluse type spiders. The Brown Recluse hunts at night so it is not exposed to its predators in the daylight. They have venom that stuns their pray so they can be eaten. An interesting fact is that a Brown Recluse’s venom cannot kill a human. The thing that causes a problem is the bacteria in the venom that grow in the wound. The Brown Recluse is a solitary spider that doesn’t like human contact. They have learned to live with humans by avoiding us, but they do attack us if they feel cornered.


Author: Megan H

Published: 02/2008


Sources: The knew book of knowledge encyclopedia Photo Credit:Jeff Delonge This image is a work of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, taken or made during the course of an employee's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.


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