Brown Recluse Spider


Actual Size: ⅜”

Characteristics: Light to dark brown, violin marking behind the head.

Legs: 8

Habitat: Constructs webs in any dark, undisturbed area in closets, basements, and garages. Will wander into shoes, boxes, bedding, and clothing items.


  • Reclusive and passive hunters.
  • Also referred to as the ‘violin’ or ‘fiddleback’ spider.
  • Found in cracks and crevices in and under rocks or the loose bark of dead trees.

Brown Recluse Spiders in Louisiana

The most common North American recluse spider is the brown recluse, also referred to as the ‘violin’ or ‘fiddleback’ spider because of the violin-shaped marking on its dorsum. Found throughout Louisiana, brown recluse spiders are rare outside their native range. In general, these spiders are widely over-reported and less common than perceived. Brown recluse spiders are venomous, but bites do not always result in large, necrotic lesions where surrounding tissue dies. Often, the bite goes unnoticed and only results in a pimple-like swelling.

Brown Recluse Spider Habitat

As their name implies, brown recluse spiders are reclusive. In nature, recluses are found in cracks and crevices in and under rocks or the loose bark of dead trees. Recluse spiders prefer to squeeze themselves into tight spaces and are found more commonly on rough surfaces such as paper, wood, and cardboard rather than smooth surfaces such as ceramic and metal. Recluses benefit from human-altered environments, where they are readily found under trash cans, plywood, tarps, rubber tires, and storage boxes.

Brown Recluse Spider Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

The venom component of all recluse spiders is capable of causing necrotic skin damage. Fortunately, brown recluse spider bites are rare and only occur when the spider feels directly threatened. Of medical concern is that the brown recluse seeks refuge inside shoes, underneath clothes left on the floor, in gardening clothes, or gloves left in the garage. Although brown recluse spider bites are rare, the venom can sometimes cause serious wounds and infestations should be taken seriously. If you or someone you know may have experienced a brown recluse bite, it is important to always seek medical attention

If you are dealing with brown recluse spider problems on your Louisiana property, contact your local spider exterminators.