Brown Recluse Spider


Actual Size: ⅜”

Characteristics: Light to dark brown in color with a dark, violin-shaped marking behind their head.

Legs: 8

Habitat: True to their name, they prefer low-traffic areas where they can be reclusive. Often builds nests in firewood piles, garages, and other sheltered areas.


  • Reclusive and passive hunters that rely on webs to catch prey.
  • Also referred to as the ‘violin’ or ‘fiddleback’ spider due to their distinctive markings.
  • Found in cracks and crevices such as beneath stones, inside of leaf litter, or in firewood stacks.

Brown Recluse Spiders in Memphis TN Metro Area

The brown recluse spider, commonly known as the violin or fiddleback spider due to its distinct marking shaped like a violin, is the most prevalent recluse spider species in North America. These spiders, found throughout Memphis TN Metro Area, are not commonly seen beyond their natural habitat. Brown recluse spiders are actually less common than believed. While venomous, their bites don’t always cause extensive tissue damage leading to necrotic lesions. In fact, most bites go unnoticed and only result in a small swelling resembling a pimple.

Brown Recluse Spider Habitat

Brown recluse spiders, true to their name, are solitary creatures. In their natural habitat, these spiders seek refuge in narrow gaps and crevices within rocks or under the peeling bark of deceased trees. They have a particular preference for snug spaces and are often discovered on coarse surfaces like paper, wood, and cardboard rather than on sleek surfaces such as ceramic or metal. Human-modified environments provide favorable conditions for recluse spiders, as they are frequently encountered beneath trash cans, plywood, tarps, rubber tires, and storage boxes.

Brown Recluse Spider Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

The venom found in all recluse spiders has the potential to cause skin damage resulting in necrosis. Thankfully, bites from brown recluse spiders are uncommon and occur only when the spider feels directly endangered. It is worrisome that brown recluses tend to seek shelter inside shoes, under clothes left on the floor, in gardening attire, or within gloves left in the garage. While bites from brown recluse spiders are rare, their venom can occasionally lead to severe wounds, so it is crucial to treat infestations seriously. If you or someone you know suspects a brown recluse bite, seeking medical attention is always important.

If you are dealing with brown recluse spider problems on your Memphis TN Metro Area property, contact your local spider exterminators.