Font Size
A
A
A
1
...

Black Widow and Brown Recluse Spider Bites

Spider Bite Overview

Black widow spiders (Latrodectus mactans) may be black or brown with a leg span of approximately one to two inches. Most can be identified by a red hourglass marking on the abdomen. They are located throughout the United States. Their toxin causes nerve cell dysfunction and muscle cell twitching.

Brown recluse spiders (Loxosceles reclusa) are tan to dark brown with a leg span of approximately 1 inch. Many have a violin-shaped marking on the chest. They are located mainly in the south central United States.

Both species are common in North America and throughout the world. Human contact with these spiders is usually accidental.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/18/2014

Must Read Articles Related to Wilderness: Black Widow and Recluse Spider Bite

Black Widow Spider Bite
Black Widow Spider Bite Most people avoid spiders. Many fear them. Scary movies use spiders to create creepy, crawly suspense. The bite of a black widow spider sounds serious-and it ca...learn more >>
Brown Recluse Spider Bite
Spider Bite: Brown Recluse Spider Bite The brown recluse spider is notable for it's characteristic violin pattern on the back of the body part to which the legs attach. Symptoms of a brown recluse sp...learn more >>
Vomiting and Nausea
Vomiting and Nausea Vomiting and nausea are common complaints that accompany many conditions and diseases. A few common causes of vomiting and nausea include food poisoning, viruse...learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Black Widow and Brown Recluse Spider Bite:

Black Widow and Brown Recluse Spider Bite - Symptoms

What symptoms did you experience as a result of a spider bite?

Black Widow and Brown Recluse Spider Bite - Treatment

What treatment did you receive for your spider bite?



NIH talks about Ebola on WebMD

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Spider Envenomations, Brown Recluse »

In the United States, reports of severe envenomations by brown spiders began to appear in the late 1800s, and today, in endemic areas, brown spiders continue to be of significant clinical concern.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


Medical Dictionary