Brown Recluse Spider
Also Called: Violin Spider or Fiddle back
The brown recluse is ¼ to ½ an inch long, and are yellowish-tan to dark brown in color. Their legs are dark grayish brown and covered with short dark hairs. On the spiders cephalothorax the brown recluse has a distinctive violin shaped marking, hence the name violin spider. Immediately in front of the marking is three sets of two eyes, unlike a spiders normal eight eyes, arranged in a semicircle.
The brown recluse hunts at night feeding on cockroaches, crickets and other small insects.
Southern and Midwestern United States. Can be active in temperatures ranging from 45 to 100 degrees F. Found mostly in wood piles, sheds, and dark corners within peoples homes.
The brown recluse is very soft bodied. It is easily preyed upon and has been observed being eaten by crickets and even other small spiders.
The brown recluse is a nocturnal insect. It is also non aggressive and will only bite when bothered either in it’s secluded area or while it is hunting. When the recluse does bite it can be very dangerous to humans, causing sickness, skin lesions, and permanent scars.
Birth and Offspring
The brown recluse reaches sexual maturity after ten to twelve months of life. The female lays eggs from May until August, usually about fourty at a time. Throughout her life, about two years, she may lay up to 300 eggs. After about two to three months the eggs hatch and the spiderlings emerge.
The brown recluse has excellent sight, but as in other hunting spiders, only up to a foot away. Also, since the recluse is a hunting spider it doesn’t need to spin a web to catch it’s prey
. Instead the recluse uses it’s web as a shelter in which it resides in during the daytime and also for the cold winter months. In the winter time these spiders do not even have to leave their shelter. They have the unique ability to go without eating for up to six months.