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Brown Recluse The Villain of Spiders

Updated on July 5, 2017

Brown Recluse ( Loxosceles)

Loxosceles, also known as the Brown Recluse, has 11 known species commonly found in the united states. Out of these 11 species 4 of them are known to cause harm to humans.

They are most often found in these states listed: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas. In addition, isolated occurrences have been reported in Arizona, California, the District of Columbia, Florida, North Carolina, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Wyoming.

Female and Her Egg Sack

Shown above is a female recluse and her newly formed egg sack.
Shown above is a female recluse and her newly formed egg sack. | Source

Mating/ Life Span

The brown recluse will mate in the hotter months of the summer, such as June and July. The male will most often be found near the ground in search of a mate during this time.

A female can hold that of up to 50 eggs at once. During her lifetime she will mate as much as 5 times in total. On average they live around 3+ years. It will take about 1 year for this spider to become an adult.


Loxosceles like to dwell close to the ground and stay hidden away from predators. They can often be found under rocks and logs. Dwelling inside of a building they will often hide in cracks found in the foundation and under boxes or furniture. The L reclusa prefers to nest in warm, dry areas. While its cousin, L rufescens, enjoys cool areas with moisture for nesting. They do not make webs.

Brown Recluse

pictured is the breakdown of the brown recluse's features.
pictured is the breakdown of the brown recluse's features. | Source


They are commonly a chocolate brown color. You will also find that they do not have markings or a change in coloration on there abdomens. The Brown Recluse grows to be up to 9mil in length as adults. The Brown Recluse has 3 pairs of eyes. These eyes are arranged in that of a triangular manner. Another noticeable characteristic that sets these arachnid apart from the rest is a violin shaped marking found near the eyes. This marking extends back but does not reach there abdomen. A common mistake in the spider world is mis identifying a spider. The Hobo spider is oftenly mistaken for the Brown Recluse. The difference with these two spiders is greater that you would expect. The Hobo spider is not solid brown like the recluse, nor does it have the violin marking. Instead it has darker markings that tend to be black on there abdomens. The Hobo is also known to have significantly longer hairs on there legs.

This Bites

depicted is the progression of a bite.
depicted is the progression of a bite. | Source

The Deadly Bite

Although a bite from one of these may not cause any pain initially, it can cause a great deal of damage. Over the span of 7 hours, it will begin to form blistering at the site in which the bite occurred. Symptoms following the spider bite include :

  • Chills
  • General ill-feeling or discomfort
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Reddish or purplish color in a circle around bite
  • Sweating
  • Large sore (ulcer) in the area of the bite

And rarely seen but possible symptoms are:

  • Coma
  • Blood in urine
  • Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice)
  • Kidney failure
  • Seizures
  • Coma

On occasion the wound that forms from the bite will turn white. When a bite turns white, the area around the bite develops a red ring. Within about 48 hours, the bite develops a blister which turns red and will then burst.

The bite from a recluse can cause skin necrosis due to the venom. Necrosis can cause your skin to ulcerate, fall of or turn black within 3 to 4 days. Most often when you have an ulcerated wound, you will require skin grafting in the future.

When bit by one of these, it is important to seek out medical attention immediately and call 911. While waiting for medical help, you must wash the infected area with soap and water. You should also wrap ice with a cloth and place on the area to help the swelling which occurs with the bite. Be sure when you dial 911 to have important information about you or the person in question ready to give to the paramedics. You must know the persons age and weight, along with the location and time of which the bite occurred. If possible try to catch the spider that bit you in a small container and bring it with you to the emergency room. Remember, these bites can be fatal so always be aware of your condition and don't wait to seek out medical help.

Caring For a Bite

Using first aid to treat a bite is very important, as it can help to slow down the damage inflicted by a bite. You should first use soap and warm water to thoroughly wash the bite and the area around it. You will want to elevate the affected part and carefully and firmly wrap it with bandages. On and of for ten minutes at a time, you will want to apply ice to help alleviate the swelling.


Whats in the Venom?

The necrotic venom of the brown recluse spider induces dysregulated endothelial cell-dependent neutrophil activation. Differential induction of GM-CSF, IL-8 and E-selectin expression.

From The CoolFactsShow


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© 2017 Jessica M Reveal


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