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Spider Photos -
Brown Recluse Spiders

Here's some photos sent in by viewers.  The brown recluse belongs to a group of spiders that is officially known as the "recluse spiders" in the genus Loxosceles (pronounced lox-sos-a-leez). These spiders are also commonly referred to as "fiddleback" spiders or "violin" spiders because of the violin-shaped marking on the top surface of the cephalothorax (fused head and thorax). However, this feature can be very faint depending on the species of recluse spider, particularly those in the southwestern U.S., or how recently the spider has molted. The common name, brown recluse spider, pertains to only one species, Loxosceles reclusa. The name refers to its color and habits. It is a reclusive creature that seeks and prefers seclusion.
The brown recluse spider and ten additional species of Loxosceles are native to the United States. In addition, a few non-native species have become established in limited areas of the country. The brown recluse spider is found mainly in the central Midwestern states southward to the Gulf of Mexico. Click here for a map of the different species of Recluse and their distribution on the United States.  Isolated cases in Ohio are likely attributable to this spider occasionally being transported in materials from other states. Although uncommon, there are more confirmed reports of Loxosceles rufescens (Mediterranean recluse) than the brown recluse in Ohio. It, too, is a human-associated species with similar habits and probably similar venom risks (unverified). (Ohio State University Fact Sheet) A great reference page on Brown and Desert Recluse and their identification is here. Click here for an article by George Fiedler on one of the most common infections that is often mistaken for a recluse bite.

Here's how to identify a brown recluse:
1. Look at the color. A brown recluse has a dirt or sandy brown body with a slightly darker marking at its centre. Its legs are a lighter brown and completely uniform in colour, with no additional markings. If the spider has stripes or other pigments on its legs, it's not a brown recluse. If the spider has more than two pigments on its body, it's not a brown recluse. If the spider has legs that are darker than its body, it's not a brown recluse.

2. Examine the violin shape on the spider's body. It's a slightly darker brown color than the rest of the body, or cephalothorax. The violin shape isn't clearly defined, so it may not look to you exactly like the musical instrument. Many spiders have similar shapes on their bodies, so this alone is not significant enough to identify the spider as a brown recluse. Again, look at the colour of the violin shape closely. If it has spots of different pigments, then you are not looking at a recluse.

3. Look at the eyes if you can. Whereas most spiders have eight eyes, recluse spiders have six eyes that are arranged in pairs in a semicircle on the forepart of the cephalothorax .One pair is in the centre, and there's a pair on either side. Because the eyes are so small, it can be difficult to see them without a magnifying glass. If you count eight eyes, you're not looking at a recluse.

4. Look for fine hairs. The brown recluse has many fine, short hairs on its body. Unlike some other spiders, it does not have spines on its body or legs. If you see a spider with spines, it's definitely not a recluse.

5. Check the body width. The brown recluse's body doesn't grow to be larger than 1/2 inch. If you're looking at a spider that's larger than this, it's a different type of spider.

Information - Wikihow

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Brown Recluse

Other Recluse


In the mature brown recluse spider as well as some other species of recluse spiders, the dark violin marking is well defined, with the neck of the violin pointing toward the bulbous abdomen. The abdomen is uniformly coloured, although the coloration can range from light tan to dark brown, and is covered with numerous fine hairs that provide a velvety appearance. The long, thin, brown legs also are covered with fine hairs, but not spines. Adult brown recluse spiders have a leg span about the size of a quarter. Their body is about 3/8 inches long and about 3/16 inches wide. Males are slightly smaller in body length than females, but males have proportionally longer legs. Both sexes are venomous. The immature stages closely resemble the adults except for size and a slightly lighter colour.

The brown recluse spider spins a loose, irregular web of very sticky, off-white to grayish threads. This web serves as the spider's daytime retreat, and it often is constructed in an undisturbed corner. This spider roams at night searching for insect prey. Recent research  indicates that the brown recluse spider is largely a scavenger, preferring dead insects. Mature males also roam in search of females. Brown recluse spiders generally occupy dark, undisturbed sites, and they can occur indoors or outdoors. In favourable habitats, their populations are usually dense. They thrive in human-altered environments. Indoors, they may be found in attics, basements, crawl spaces, cellars, closets, and ductwork or registers. They may seek shelter in storage boxes, shoes, clothing, folded linens, and behind furniture. They also may be found in outbuildings such as barns, storage sheds, and garages. Outdoors, brown recluse spiders may be found underneath logs, loose stones in rock piles, and stacks of lumber. The brown recluse spider is not aggressive, and it normally bites only when crushed, handled or disturbed. Some people have been bitten in bed after inadvertently rolling over onto the spider. Others have been bitten after accidentally touching the spider when cleaning storage areas. Some bites occur when people put on seldom used clothing or shoes inhabited by a brown recluse. (Ohio State University Fact Sheet)

Reply: Yes, it looks like a brown recluse so be careful - glen

13 April, 2017:
Hi Glen. Thanks for identifying that spider for me. That one was in my garage. I live in Tulsa, OK. I found another one today in my pantry. Hope it's not a recluse. Thanks, Jill

Reply: Yes you have, it looks like a brown recluse so be careful - glen

21 June, 2016:
I think I might have caught a Brown Recluse in my house!!!! Can you tell if it is or not?

Another Reply: Hi Glen, I was looking at some brown recluse images on your website and one from Salt Lake City, UT popped up. I work at the pest diagnostic lab at Utah State University and I actually had this person submit the spider in the pictures from your website. It did not match up with brown recluse or desert recluse, so I sent the spider to Dr. Paula Cushing in Denver, Colorado to verify the ID. She identified the spider as a Mediterranean recluse (Loxesceles rufescens). The client had just moved to SLC from California and brought it with him. I only point this out because some Utahans might see this and think that we have brown recluse spiders in the state, which is a myth we work to dispel. :) For your own interest, Utah has had 4 L. reclusa, 2 L. deserta, and 1 L. rufescens submitted in the last 30 yrs. Thanks Glen. I love the site!

Reply: Looks like a brown recluse - glen

27 May, 2016:
Hey! I was wondering if you could help me identified this suspicious looking guy I found in my apartment! This is in Salt Lake City, Utah. Best, Gabriel .

Reply: Thanks for the photo and ID - glen

13 Nov, 2015:
Hi Glen, Bet you donít have one like this! Itís a closeup I shot of a tiny juvenile brown recluse I trapped in a bowl as it was crawling along our counter. I lit the little guy up with a LED light and shot it with a special macro lens attached to an iPhone. We live in west TN, and Iím constantly seeing these guys in the house. Iím guessing it was too young for the ďviolinĒ to have formed yet on its prosoma, but the triple eye sets give it away.

Reply: It looks like a brown recluse so be careful - glen

16 July, 2015:
We keep seeing this in our shower would like to know for curtain.

Reply: Yes it looks like a brown recluse so be careful - glen

20 May, 2015:
Hello, We live in Franklin, TN and have seen these around the house. Do you think it's a brown recluse? Thank you so much!! Kendy

Reply: I think it is a brown recluse so be careful - glen

14 June, 2014:
Can you please tell me what type spider this is? The abdomen looks smaller and darker than any pics I found of a brown recluse. Location northwest Alabama. Thanks!

Reply: It does look like a brown recluse so be careful - glen

14 June, 2014:
Help identify this spider!

Reply: It does look like a brown recluse so be careful - glen

14 June, 2014:
Is the a brown recluse? My cousin lives is St. Peters Missouri and they have 2 little babies!!!

Reply: It does look like a brown recluse so be careful - glen

14 June, 2014:
Brown recluse? Please let me know. Was in a coffee table drawer. Just one...saw no other. What do you suggest we do. Took everything off table. Can we treat the table. I know they or their babies can hide. Ive been bit twice. I was bit the last time in one spot on my leg four times. I certainly DON'T want to go through that again. Any help or advice we would greatly appreciate. Karen

Reply: It looks like a brown recluse so be careful - glen

14 June, 2014:

Reply: It looks like a brown recluse so be careful - glen

17 May, 2014:
Found this in my shower tonight. Think it was in my towel. Can you, or someone I.D. it?

Reply: Could be a brown recluse so be careful - glen

17 May, 2014:
Yuk what is this??

Reply: Looks like it could be a brown recluse  - glen

13 February, 2014:
Hello. I saw this spider on my daughter's bed after she fluffed up her pillow. Can't tell if it's a brown recluse. Do you think it is? Help!! Is there anyway to kill them completely?

Reply: Looks like a brown recluse to me - glen

24 December, 2013:
Can you identify this spider?

Reply: Yes it looks like a brown recluse so be careful - glen

16 June, 2013:
Glen, Not a spider person. Found your website and just wanted to know if this is a brown recluse. Thanks for everything! Sincerely, Matthew

Reply: This looks like a brown recluse so be careful - glen

16 June, 2013:
I live in Louisville Kentucky, found this two days ago in my shed


Reply: This looks like a brown recluse so be careful - glen

13 April, 2013:
We found it in the sink- we also have baby ones running around. This one was 3cm long. Thanks


Reply: Yes I would say it is a brown recluse and has just moulted- glen

4 November , 2012:
Hello! I believe that this is a brown recluse, am I mistaken?


Reply: Why not try some natural repellents and remedies like the ones on the page on here - glen

29 June , 2012:
I have found 8 eight these in my house in the last month. we had a great deal of cellar spiders, but in recent days havent seen near as many of those, and now we see brown recluse. Does this constitute an infestation? And what is the best course of action, as I have heard some spider poisons, which would be bad for myself and my 2 grown dogs, can also cause spiders to become more agressive.


Reply: It is a male and it could be a recluse - glen

12 June, 2011:
Can you tell me if you believe this is a brown recluse? Misty


6 April, 2011:
Just took this picture of a brown recluse that was in the upstairs of my parent's house. Don't know if this is the proper way to submit spider photos but if so I have a very good venusta orchard spider photo. Also this is downsized for web. Jerry

Reply: Even though they are not supposed to be in New York, this certainly  looks like a brown recluse so be careful - glen.

13 January, 2011:
Hi Glen, Your site is amazing!! I'm unsure if this is a brown recluse. I live in new york and from what I have read they aren't supposed to live here, but who knows these days with climate changes. Any thoughts on what this spider might be? You may post/do as you please with the photos. Thanks a bunch! Mercedes

Reply: It  has the t violin pattern on the cephalothorax and the body colour is right so it could be one - glen.

28 June, 2010:
hello, i'm wondering if i have brown recluse living in my bathroom somewhere. we've spotted many over the last several months, the most recent one was a couple mornings ago waiting for me in the bathtub, so i took a few pictures. can you take a look at tell me what you think? thanks, Rich

Reply: It certainly has the right violin pattern on the cephalothorax and the body colour is right.
1 August, 2009:

Just wondering if this is a recluseÖ..seems awfully large for one though. Darin
26 July, 2009:
Hello. Iím in Chicago, on the second floor of a condo building. Last August I found a reclusa rufensce (sp?) swimming in my bathtub. I am glad I drew the bath before getting in. WHOA. It was correctly identified by some spider guys at the Natural History Museum in Chicago and another professor in Illinois studying recluses.  The first pic is of my Recluse specimen.  Thanks!!! Meg
3 June, 2009:
Can you identify this spider? Is it a brown recluse? Thanks for any help you can provide!
2 November, 2008:
Hi Glen, I enjoy viewing your web site. Iíve always liked spiders but I respect them, and value the role they play. I live in Bermuda, when I was younger there was only a small selection of spiders commonly found on the island, but as imports have increased so has the selection of spiders. I am now finding spiders that Iíve never seen before. I was hoping that you could help me to positively identify a few Iíve found recently. In photo # 5049, 5051 (same spider) and 6788, I believe both these spiders to be the brown recluse spider, am I correct?

27 July, 2008:
Hi Glen, I live in Knoxville Tennessee and my roommate was recently bit by a spider that was inside a pair of pants hanging in the closet. It turned into a fairly large and nasty bite that she eventually sought medical attention for. Since then I have been paying close attention to spiders around the house. I just caught this one tonight and snapped some pictures. Iím fairly certain it is a Brown Recluse but I was hoping you could verify that for me. Feel free to use these pictures in any way you need. Thanks, Dan

Click for a larger view.



8 June, 2008:
Hi Glen! You have an awesome site. I've been lost for days now looking at all the amazing spider photos available. I wanted to send you this up-close photo of a Brown Recluse spider I took last month in Oklahoma. You can see the hair on it's legs! Keep up the great work, Neil

Click for a larger view.


Another Reply from Charla: The 3 from jan. 12: these are sac spiders. they do not look like the ones on your page, but they are very common at my college (especially, as you said, in the fall). all the ones i find have the same traits - enormous mandibles, a dark brown face that fades into light brown close to the head, a dark abdomen, and back legs that are slightly shorter than the front legs.

Reply: They could be brown recluse, they have the violin shape on their cephalothorax.

12 January
, 2008:
I found these two spiders washed up after a rain in my backyard...I think it's a brown recluse spider, could they a male and female??




Reply: It could be a brown recluse, it has the violin shape on its cephalothorax.

12 January, 2008:
Can you please tell me if you think this is a brown recluse and if not, what it is? We live in Texas and just turned our house upside down (boxes, furniture, etc...) having new carpet installed after 30 years. I have seen several of these guys lately since then and it is really concerning to me. I have a two year old daughter and I am scared to death she will be bitten. Is this a brown recluse? If not, what it is? Dangerous or not? The actual spider is quite small, about the size of a nickel with leg span and all. I certainly appreciate any help you can give me. Sincerely, Carlotta

Click for a larger view.


2 November, 2007:
Dear Glen, My son and I have enjoyed looking at the pictures you have.  Today I had an unwanted visitor land on my shoulder, fortunately no bites.  I managed to brush him off and snap a few pictures of him, I thought I would share them with you.  Thanks for the wonderful website. Sincerely, Jennifer, Stockton, KS


Click for a larger view


A Reply from Charla: This is a southern house spider (filistata hibernalis). the stripe on the back is typical, but the photo also shows the golden brown around the legs, very long pedipalps, and two eyes that look more like a tarantula's eyes than anything else. i googled southern house spider to send a better picture and found one on your website. it's under great spider photos 2006 (august 26).

26 February, 2007:
But Hey I caught one, And I am looking at a fiddleback here. Its just that the abdomin is tiny not like in the pictures I see, the thorax is correct with the base of the fiddle starting at the head and the neck facing towards the back end. But I figured it would be larger here. I am taking pictures, Still havent got one that is very clear to show u, its hard with this 4.0 mp camera. So here are some attached photos. You give me your wisdom. Its off to the Managers office with this guy in the morning, if its truly a fiddleback. Thanks so much for your help. Kristi in Nashville TN


Click for a larger view


Reply: It looks like a recluse to me.

21 September, 2006:
I found this spider in my basement and thought that it might be a brown recluse. What do you think? Use the pic if you like. Eric Tiemann - St. Louis Missouri


Click for a larger view.


Reply: Certainly looks like a recluse to me.

17 June, 2006:
Hi, great site! I find these in my home all the time. They look like brown recluse, but many have said that the recluse is often mistaken. Can you confirm what this is? Thanks!
BTW, I live in Memphis, TN. And, feel free to share the pic.
- Ben


17 February, 2006:
Our house is loaded with them. I'm going to get an exterminator out here and if they can't get 'em all but stopped then I'll consider strongly......moving from the house. We have a baby crawling around and that's just a bit too scary. We see them all too often.
Hope you like the photos. If you need more I can get 'em anytime and can get some better ones if you like. blessings, Ken
Click for a larger view.


8 November, 2005:
This is a 6 x 8 inch monitor trap full of Brown Recluse Spiders. There were 14 more of these traps that we removed from a home in Jackson Tennessee. Thanks for a great site!
Ray Phillips
Associate Certified Entomologist
Corporate Residential Pest Control Manager
Cook's Pest Control, Inc.
Office (256) 340-2507 Ext. 166
Cell (256) 227-5998
Fax (256) 340-2531


23 October, 2005:
I have a few more good pictures of a brown recluse in you want/need any. We have been over run with them in our shed and garage. Thankfully we have only found one in the house. We are in southern TN.



18 July, 2005:
hey nice site ,thought you might like to putt these pics of a brown recluse i found onyour site, my gf had stepped on it in the shower and didnt sqaush it but it was drenched so we thought it was dead we took pics of it and then we put it in a jar the next day it was alive and running around crazy i tell ya! any way enjoy the pics!
Click for a larger view.



Could John please email me, as someone wants to use his photos for another web page? Thanks, glen


21 June, 2005:
This is a recluse from northwest Alabama. They emerge at night, and hunt along the floor. Feel free to use the photo if you can.

John S. Williams

Great photo, click for a larger view!!


28 December, 2004:
Dear Sir or Madam, I was wondering if your could help me. My family and I live in Bahrain and I have come across this spider many times. I have a feeling it is a brown recluse spider as it behaves very much like one. I find them constantly in the laundry hamper. Can you help me identify this spider as we have a small child in the house and I am very scared of her being bitten by one. I would appreciate any assistance you could give. Kind regards, Mrs. Reboni


14 October, 2004:  
Brown Recluse from Rogers, Arkansas
I found this one in one of my kids toys. In fact the same toy car that I found the Black Widow in which you posted a few months ago. Goes to show that if you keep toys outside it might be good to shake it a bit before letting the kids play.

Craig Richardson
Rogers Arkansas


29 July, 2004:
Hereís a cool photo I took of a mature male brown recluse last month while visiting my parents in St. Louis, Missouri. I discovered they had a brown recluse infestation. No bites yet (and we hope it stays that way) and so far 25 have been caught. The biggest had a body about 0.75 inches long and leg span of over 2 inches. This guyís body was about 0.50Ē long. Feel free to post the photo to help folks identify a brown recluse.
Tom Sovar


30 September, 2003:
Brown Recluse found in Fayetteville Arkansas. It was missing a couple legs but still very active and fast. Must of lost a fight with a praying mantis or another spider. Feel free to use this picture.