Brown Recluse Spider
Scientific Name: Loxosceles reclusa
The Brown Recluse Spider is one of the few that has such distinct markings on it that you will easily be able to identify what it is. They have a black design underneath them that looks like the shape of a violin instrument. They also have one more set of eyes than other Spiders in the category so they have 8 sets of them.
These are only about 1 inch long with varying colors. Some of the are gray or black so they often get mistaken for some other type of Spider. The most common coloring for them is a type of brown. This could be light tan, medium colored, or it can be a darker shade. They have black underneath them that creates the violin types of design.
They have lots of hair on them that also makes them look like a very hairy creature. They often blend in very well to their surroundings which is why some locations have one color but then you won’t see that color of them anywhere else.
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This particular Spider does have a very interesting stance. They will stand elegantly on all of their legs. Should you see one of them with the two legs up high though that is a sign they feel like they are in danger. They will show that they are assertive as a means of trying to escape danger.
When they are scared they may retreat but only if they feel they can reach safety in time. They move at a slow pace so being able to outrun a predator or any other danger usually isn’t going to work out in their favor. They may retreat in a backwards movement as well, keeping their eyes on the risk that they feel threatened by.
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Habitat and Distribution
There are plenty of places out there where you will find the Brown Recluse Spider. They are able to live in many locations that offer a warm climate. When it gets colder they are more likely to come into homes where there is heat being generated. They live in areas that aren’t often disturbed. This can include under rocks. Around trees, in boxes, piles of clothing, and even in your wood pile you store up for the winter months.
Many people do come into contact with this type of Spider as they are shorting through items or doing some extra cleaning duties. When you go into areas such as your shed that aren’t often disturbed you really do want to be careful as this type of Spider or others may be lurking around.
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Diet and Feeding Habits
They mainly dine on crickets and cockroaches. This enables them to be able to have plenty of food most of the year. They are opportunistic though so if they find other insects they will also consume them. Almost all of the food they consume comes from them catching it in their web. This consists of silk they create and that is very sticky.
They will immediately go to investigate what has been captured there. If they wait then the prey may be able to escape from the sticky substance. They aren’t able to consume solids so they have to place enzymes into the prey. This is accomplished by biting them and then releasing venom. Those enzymes start to liquefy the flesh and that is what they will suck down.
They have also been known to consume dead insects and bugs that they may find as they move around. This is often something they do to find enough food too during the times of year when crickets aren’t in high supply.
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Mating for the Brown Recluse Spider takes place starting in May and it can continue through July. The females are able to produces hundreds of small eggs that they will place into a sack until they hatch. She may be able to mate and successfully lay eggs twice during that three month window.
While the males are the ones that go out in search of the females, they don’t get to choose a mate. The female has complete control over this. There are many acts that the male may perform to win her over. This can include playing in her web to create vibrations for her senses, offering her food, and dancing.
Sometimes those efforts will be enough and other times she will run him off and wait for another male to come along. It is puzzling as to why some of them are accepted and others aren’t. It takes two months after the eggs are created for them to hatch. There is a very high rate of death among these young. Only a very small number of them are going to be able to reach the age of 1 year when they are mature enough to be able to mate.
Venomous Bite or Danger to Humans
It is no secret that Spiders aren’t something many people are impressed by. However, there are some like the Brown Recluse Spider that people are just very scary due to the fears of being bitten. They are often seen by humans as being highly aggressive but that really isn’t the truth behind all of it.
What usually occurs when humans are bitten is that they startle these Spiders. Humans may be moving items around to look for something and that is when they find one. A Spider may be warm in clothing and then a person puts it on. This is the most common time when someone does get bitten by this particular type of Spider.
The bite from this Spider isn’t really painful but some people do feel a stinging sensation. Others don’t even know they have a bit. For those that do see redness, swelling, or feel ill though they need to see a doctor about it right away.
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Bite Treatment or Care
You really never want to take a risk with Spider bites. Finding out what type of Spider has bite you is important but you may not always know. If the skin around the bite is changing color then you do want to see a doctor. They can help to prevent the infection from spreading.
The last thing you want is for the flesh to start to liquefy like it does for their prey. Of course humans are larger so it will take more time for it to happen. There is no anti venom so the doctor will likely start out with antihistamines to reduce swelling and pain medications.
A lack of medical attention when you have an allergic reaction from a Brown Recluse Spider can be very serious for you to consider. This can result in the kidneys failing, a coma due to the loss of red blood cells, and death from an infection that is out of control.
Those are the scary things that people often think about with this particular Spider. However, what is known is that only an extremely small portion of the population is going to suffer such serious effects from a Brown Recluse Spider bite. If you are worried though you should immediately get out there and seek medical attention as a level of protection from the start.
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