Brown Recluse vs Desert Recluse

Difference Between a Brown Recluse and a Desert Recluse

Contrary to popular belief, brown recluse spiders are not native to California. There are other recluse spiders in California. A specimen collected from the California desert is most likely a desert recluse spider (Loxosceles deserta). The most common of Californian recluse spiders, the desert recluse is found in the Sonoran and Mojave deserts. The desert recluse is found in Arizona, Nevada, Utah and New Mexico. As with brown recluses, desert recluses are known to have necrotic venom.

close-up of brown recluse spider

Due to their aesthetic likenesses, desert recluse spiders are often mistakenly identified as brown recluse spiders. Desert recluse spiders also have only six eyes, as opposed to the eight eyes present on most other spider species. Like the brown recluse, these eyes are arranged in three pairs known as dyads. Desert recluses are generally sandy or tan in color, with light brown abdomens. The characteristic fiddle shape of the brown recluse also is present on the body of the desert recluse.