Brown recluse?

Asked June 13, 2020, 11:10 PM EDT

Is this a brown recluse? If not, what is it?

Transylvania County North Carolina

1 Response

Thank you for your question. The spider in your photograph is not a brown recluse spider, scientific name Loxosceles reclusa. Your spider is much more robust than the brown recluse, has a prominent mark on its abdomen and does not have the characteristic violin marking on the cephalothorax.

The blue tone of the photograph and distance from which it was taken make it difficult to see characteristics necessary to make a positive identification. Being able to see the number and positioning of the eyes, for example, can be extremely helpful in identifying spiders. Your spider may be the nursery web spider, Pisaurina mira.

Here's a link to an excellent website on the brown recluse at the University of California - Riverside:

https://spiders.ucr.edu/how-identify-and-misidentify-brown-recluse-spider#:~:text=A%20brown%20recluse%20has%20a%20dark%20brown%20violin%20shape%20on,a%20space%20separating%20the%20pairs.

I hope this information helps, and thank you for contacting Ask an Expert.

Jim