This spider is NOT a native species to Virginia nor
is it commonly found here. However, since bites attributed
to it are reported each year, it is important to know
how to identify this spider.
The adult Brown Recluse is approximately 1/2 inch long,
light brown or tan in color. The identifying mark, a
darker brown violin shape, may be found on the cephalothorax
of the spider, hence its nickname, the "violin spider".
There are six eyes arranged in three pairs instead
of eight eyes as most spiders have.
The Brown Recluse is found in the central to southern
mid-western part of the United States, from Kansas to
True to its name, it lives inside dwellings, tucked
away in dark corners or under objects.
Although the extreme western part of Virginia may be
within it range, it is not believed to be found here.
The Brown Recluse catches any small insects that live
in and around the home. It is nocturnal (active at night)
and catches its prey within a small, irregular, sticky
The light brown or tan color of this spider helps
it to blend into dark corners and crevices. During the
day, it hides under or behind furniture, in seldom worn
clothing or shoes in closets, or in other nooks and
crannies of the home.
The Brown Recluse spider will bite. Rarely any pain
when bitten. Bite site becomes reddened. Painful ulceration
develops. Skin and muscle tissue dies, leaving a deep,
infected wound that enlarges, fails to heal or heals