Custom Search
Protected by Copyscape Duplicate Content Tool

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


The Brown Recluse Spider, (Loxosceles reclusa), is a well-known member of the family Sicariidae (formerly placed in a family "Loxoscelidae"). It is usually between 6–20 mm (¼ in and ¾ in) but may grow larger. It is brown and sometimes an almost deep yellow color and usually has markings on the dorsal side of its cephalothorax, with a black line coming from it that looks like a violin with the neck of the violin pointing to the rear of the spider, resulting in the nickname "fiddleback spider" or "violin spider". Coloring varies from light tan to brown and the violin marking may not be visible.

According to wikipedia, this spider is not aggressive and usually bites only when pressed against human skin, such as when tangled up within clothes, bath towels, or in bedding. In fact, many wounds that are necrotic and diagnosed as brown recluse bites can actually be Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Actual brown recluse bites are rare. Brown recluse bites may produce a range of symptoms known as loxoscelism. There are two types of loxoscelism: cutaneous (skin) and systemic (viscerocutaneous).

Most bites are minor with no necrosis. However, a small number of bites produce severe dermonecrotic lesions, and, sometimes, severe systemic symptoms, including organ damage. Rarely, the bite may also produce a systemic condition with occasional fatalities. Most fatalities are in children under 7 or those with a weaker than normal immune system.

A minority of bites form a necrotizing ulcer that destroys soft tissue and may take months and possibly (very rarely) years to heal, leaving deep scars. There have been no known cases of actual brown recluse bite sites taking years to heal; those that do can usually be attributed to a systemic infection or disease such as diabetes. The damaged tissue will become gangrenous and eventually slough away. The initial bite frequently cannot be felt and there may be no pain, but over time the wound may grow to as large as 10 inches (25 cm) in extreme cases. Bites usually become painful and itchy within 2 to 8 hours, pain and other local effects worsen 12 to 36 hours after the bite with the necrosis developing over the next few days.

Picture and Information courtesy of
Picture: Brown Recluse on a Quarter (Photo courtesy of the University of Nebraska)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...