September 19th, 2009 by BugGuy
Way back in January we wrote a post about black widow spiders; these black and red bodied spiders are probably the first to come to mind when poisonous insects are mentioned but the brown recluse spider is another poisonous spider that is common in the U.S., especially in the Midwest.
But don’t worry Californians, there are no brown recluse spider populations in California. This is contrary to popular belief…there have been sightings of the arachnids in the state but it is believed they were transported here from the Midwest via people relocating to the state. While there are 100 species of recluse spiders, only a handful can be found in California, and like I mentioned before, the brown recluse is not one of them. Species of recluse spiders found in parts of California include: Desert recluse, Chilean recluse, Russell’s recluse, Martha’s recluse, Baja recluse and the Arizona recluse.
Think you found a brown recluse spider? Here’s a great visual of how to indentify and even misidentify the brown recluse spider. One way to identify any recluse spider is by looking at their eyes. Most spiders have eight eyes arranged in two rows of four but recluses have six eyes arranged in three pairs.
All species of recluse spiders are poisonous (venomous) and are known for their necrotic bite (early death of living cells and tissues). But, most species of recluse spiders are considered pretty laid back…with the exception of the Chilean recluse.
Did you know that recluse is actually from the Latin word recludere which means “sequester?” This name is very appropriate from the recluse family of spider because they love to hide in tree bark, wood piles and even behind picture frames on the wall when in houses.