Black Widow and Brown Recluse Spider Bites
What Are Black Widow and Brown Recluse Spiders?
- 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.
- Black widow spiders are located throughout the United States.
- Black widow 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.
- Brown recluse spiders are located mainly in the south central United States.
- Both black widow and brown recluse spiders are common in North America and throughout the world. Human contact with these spiders is usually accidental.
Last Reviewed 12/8/2017
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