Brown Recluse Spider Biology

Brown recluse spiders measure 6 to 11 mm in body length and are golden brown in color with long, thin legs. Their bodies are covered in fine, dark hair. Brown recluse spiders are most easily identified by a characteristic fiddle or violin pattern near the head region and six eyes arranged in pairs. Both characteristics must be seen to positively identify it as a recluse. Brown recluse spiders are also known as violin or fiddle-back spiders as a result of these markings. The fiddle shape is light to dark brown in color.

One female brown recluse spider may produce up to five egg sacs with as many as 300 eggs in each sac. Within 25 to 39 days, newly hatched spiders will emerge.

Young brown recluse spiders are slow to grow and may reach maturity within 10 to 12 months. Their development is influenced by factors such as food and weather conditions. However, brown recluse specimens are capable of surviving for extended periods without food or water.

These spiders are nocturnal, emerging at night to hunt for small prey. The webs of brown recluses are small, loose and irregular. Unlike some spider species, they do not use their webs to trap prey.