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  • Bryan W. Alaspa

Spider Facts: the Brown Recluse Spider

For the most part, we are pretty lucky here in North America when it comes to spiders. If you live in Central or South America or some of the warmer or more tropical climates (or Australia - so many deadly things live there it's almost unfair) you may have poisonous spiders, ants, centipedes or giant spiders or other insects. However, in the U.S. and North America there are few spiders to fear - but there are a couple.

One of the most infamous is the Brown Recluse Spider

The Brown Recluse is found mostly in the central and southern regions of the U.S. They have been transported via goods and boxes and things to other areas, but they like warmer climates and die off in other areas. They have a reputation as being the "most poisonous spider in the world except they are too small." The idea being the poison of a Brown Recluse is so deadly it would kill a person if the darn arachnid were just bigger.

This is not really true. Our friend the Brazilian Wandering Spider has a venom more likely to give you a reason to be worried. Australian Funnel-Web Spiders and Redback Spiders are probably more of a risk to a normal healthy person, too.

That being said, the bite of the Brown Recluse is nothing to mess with. It can be painful, it can cause serious scarring and, if you are sensitive to insect bites or stings, it has the potential to be deadly. If you have been bitten by a Brown Recluse, do not dismiss it - seek treatment right away.

The Brown Recluse is a pretty small spider. They are brown in color and many of them have a slightly darker brown shape on their backs that sort of resembles a violin, or fiddle, which is why they are also sometimes known as fiddle-back spiders. Not all of them, though. What sets the Brown Recluse apart from other spiders is that they have six eyes arranged in pairs instead of eight - however, you may not want to get that close to one of them to check out their eye arrangement and they might not like it much, either.

The Brown Recluse gets its name (Recluse) from the fact it likes to hide. It does not go out deliberately hunting people. They like to find hidden places under porches, or in piles of wood where they built messy, sheet-like webs to capture prey. They do not "attack" people, but they will defend themselves if their web is disturbed or they are handled.

However, because the Brown Recluse is often found in areas where people are, they sometimes go wandering - particularly when it's mating season. This is where they can end up crawling on a person beneath their sheets, or hiding in their shoes or perhaps in a piece of clothing. When they are disturbed or pressed against the skin, they can and will bite in defense.

Often, the initial bite is not felt or is just a slight sting. However, the Brown Recluse venom has a painful affect on flesh - it's necrotic. That means, it rots the flesh. People with severe Recluse bites show black, rotted and rotting flesh. The area around the bite will often become red and swollen and then, as the venom works its way through the body, the rotting area starts to spread. This is usually so painful to the person bitten, they seek medical attention.

The world of spiders is a nasty place, but they are often misunderstood. They do not hunt people. They do not want to eat people. The vast majority of them are shy and just want to be left alone. That being said, their lives are the stuff of nightmares.


The town of Whittier, Alaska, has awakened to a nightmare. They are an isolated community, living together in a huge building that is entirely self-contained. Then, just as the short summer season is ending, a body washes up beneath the docks. A body wearing a lab coat and apparently from the mysterious government installation across the sound. With a storm coming, they bring the body indoors, only to find the nightmare has just begun.

A nightmare with eight legs. A man made nightmare build to do only three things:

  • Invade

  • Control

  • Destroy

S.P.I.D.A.R. is available NOW for pre-order at Amazon for Kindle and print and will be available everywhere February 23. From Beacon Publishing Group!

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