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Loxosceles reclusa

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Cladus: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Cladus: Holozoa
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Protostomia
Cladus: Ecdysozoa
Cladus: Panarthropoda
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Classis: Arachnida
Ordo: Araneae
Subordo: Opisthothelae
Infraordo: Araneomorphae
Taxon: Neocribellatae
Series: Haplogynae
Superfamilia: Scytodoidea

Familia: Sicariidae
Genus: Loxosceles
Species: L. accepta – L. adelaida – L. alamosa – L. alicea – L. amazonica – L. anomala – L. apachea – L. aphrasta – L. aranea – L. arizonica – L. aurea – L. baja – L. barbara – L. belli – L. bentejui – L. bettyae – L. blancasi – L. blanda – L. boneti – L. candela – L. cardosoi – L. caribbaea – L. carinhanha – L. carmena – L. cederbergensis – L. chinateca – L. colima – L. conococha – L. coquimbo – L. coyote – L. cubana – L. dejagerae – L. deserta – L. devia – L. ericsoni – L. fontainei – L. foutadjalloni – L. francisca – L. frizzelli – L. gaucho – L. gloria – L. griffinae – L. guajira – L. guatemala – L. guayota – L. haddadi – L. harrietae – L. herreri – L. hirsuta – L. huasteca – L. hupalupa – L. immodesta – L. inca – L. insula – L. intermedia – L. irishi – L. jaca – L. jamaica – L. jarmila – L. julia – L. kaiba – L. karstica – L. lacroixi – L. lacta – L. laeta – L. lawrencei – L. lutea – L. luteola – L. mahan – L. maisi – L. makapanensis – L. malintzi – L. manuela – L. maraisi – L. martha – L. meruensis – L. misteca – L. mogote – L. mrazig – L. mulege – L. muriciensis – L. nahuana – L. neuvillei – L. niedeguidonae – L. olmea – L. pallidecolorata – L. palma – L. panama – L. parrami – L. persica – L. pilosa – L. piura – L. pucara – L. puortoi – L. reclusa – L. rica – L. rosana – L. rothi – L. rufescens – L. rufipes – L. russelli – L. sabina – L. seri – L. similis – L. smithi – L. sonora – L. spadicea – L. speluncarum – L. spinulosa – L. surca – L. taeniopalpis – L. taino – L. tazarte – L. tehuana – L. tenango – L. tenochtitlan – L. teresa – L. tibicena – L. tlacolula – L. tolantongo – L. troglobia – L. valdosa – L. valida – L. variegata – L. virgo – L. vonwredei – L. weyrauchi – L. willianilsoni – L. yucatana – L. zapoteca

Loxosceles Heineken & Lowe, 1832

Type species: Loxosceles rufescens (Dufour, 1820)

Gender: feminine

Loxoscella Strand, 1906 (synonymized by Gertsch & Ennik, 1983: 278)
Calheirosia Mello-Leitão, 1917 (synonymized by Brignoli, 1978: 18)


Template:Heineken & Lowe, 1832

Bertani, R., von Schimonsky, D.M., Gallão, J.E. & Bichuette, M.E. 2018. Four new troglophilic species of Loxosceles Heinecken & Lowe, 1832: contributions to the knowledge of recluse spiders from Brazilian caves (Araneae, Sicariidae). Zookeys, 806: 47–72. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.806.27404 Reference page.
Cala-Riquelme, F., Gutiérrez-Estrada, M.A. & Flórez Daza, A.E. 2015. The genus Loxosceles Heineken & Lowe 1832 (Araneae: Sicariidae) in Colombia, with description of new cave-dwelling species. Zootaxa 4012(2): 396–400. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4012.2.12. Preview (PDF) Reference page.
Fukushima, C.S., de Andrade, R.M.G. & Bertani, R. 2017. Two new Brazilian species of Loxosceles Heinecken & Lowe, 1832 with remarks on amazonica and rufescens groups (Araneae, Sicariidae). ZooKeys 667: 67—94. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.667.11369. Reference page.
Lotz, L.N. 2017. An update on the spider genus Loxosceles (Araneae: Sicariidae) in the Afrotropical region, with description of seven new species. Zootaxa 4341(4): 475–494. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4341.4.2. Reference page.
Lowe, R.T. 1832. Descriptions of two species of Araneidae, natives of Madeira. The Zoological Journal 5: 320–323. BHL [321]
Gertsch, W.J. & F. Ennik. 1983. The spider genus Loxosceles in North America, Central America, and the West Indies (Araneae, Loxoscelidae). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 175: 264–360. PDF
Gonçalves-de-Andrade, R.M.; Bertani, R.; Hiroaki Nagahama, R.; Ribeiro Barbosa, M.F. 2012: Loxosceles niedeguidonae (Araneae, Sicariidae) a new species of brown spider from Brazilian semi-arid region. ZooKeys 175: 27-36. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.175.2259 Open access.
Navarro-Rodríguez, C.I. & Valdez-Mondragón, A. 2020. Description of a new species of Loxosceles Heineken & Lowe (Araneae, Sicariidae) recluse spiders from Hidalgo, Mexico, under integrative taxonomy: morphological and DNA barcoding data (CO1 + ITS2). European Journal of Taxonomy 704: 1–30. DOI: 10.5852/ejt.2020.704. Open access. Reference page.
Planas, E. & Ribera, C. 2015. Description of six new species of Loxosceles (Araneae: Sicariidae) endemic to the Canary Islands and the utility of DNA barcoding for their fast and accurate identification. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 174(1): 47–73. DOI: 10.1111/zoj.12226. Reference page.
Ribera, C. & Planas, E. 2009. A new species of Loxosceles (Araneae, Sicariidae) from Tunisia. In: Stoev, P., Dunlop, J. & Lazarov, S. (eds) A life caught in a spider's web. Papers in arachnology in honour of Christo Deltshev. ZooKeys 16: 217–225. Abstract PDF
Ruiz, A.S.; Brescovit, A.D. 2013: The genus Loxosceles Heineken & Lowe (Araneae: Sicariidae) in Cuba and Hispaniola, West Indies. Zootaxa 3731(2): 212–222. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.3731.2.2 Reference page.
Souza, M.F.V.R. & Ferreira, R.L. 2018. A new highly troglomorphic Loxosceles (Araneae: Sicariidae) from Brazil. Zootaxa 4438(3): 575–587. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4438.3.9Paywall Reference page.
Tahami, M.S., Zamani, A., Sadeghi, S. & Ribera, C. 2017. A new species of Loxosceles Heineken & Lowe, 1832 (Araneae: Sicariidae) from Iranian caves. Zootaxa 4318(2): 377–387. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4318.2.10. Reference page.
Valdez-Mondragón, A., Cortez-Roldán, M.R., Juárez-Sánchez, A.R. & Solís-Catalán, K.P. 2018. A new species of Loxosceles Heineken & Lowe (Araneae, Sicariidae), with updated distribution records and biogeographical comments for the species from Mexico, including a new record of Loxosceles rufescens (Dufour). Zookeys, 802: 39–66. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.802.28445 Reference page.
Valdez-Mondragón, A., Navarro-Rodríguez, C.I., Solís-Catalán, K.P., Cortez-Roldán, M.R. & Juárez-Sánchez, A.R. 2019. Under an integrative taxonomic approach: the description of a new species of the genus Loxosceles (Araneae, Sicariidae) from Mexico City. ZooKeys, 892: 93–133. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.892.39558 Open access Reference page.


Platnick, N.I. 2008. The World Spider Catalog, version 9.0. American Museum of Natural History. [1]

Vernacular names
한국어: 실거미속
português: aranha-marrom

The recluse spiders (Loxosceles (/lɒkˈsɒsɪliːz/), also known as brown spiders, fiddle-backs, violin spiders, and reapers, is a genus of spiders that was first described by R. T. Lowe in 1832.[4] They are venomous spiders known for their bite, which sometimes produces a characteristic set of symptoms known as loxoscelism.

Recluse spiders are now identified as members of the family Sicariidae, having formerly been placed in their own family, the Loxoscelidae. Although recluse spiders are feared, they are usually not aggressive.[5]

Relation with other spiders

Sicariidae are of the superfamily Scytodoidea. Other families in the Scytodoidea include Drymusidae, Scytodidae, and Periegopidae.
Habitat and appearance
The eye arrangement of spiders in the genus Loxosceles

Loxosceles is distributed nearly worldwide in warmer areas. All have six eyes arranged in three groups of two (dyads) and some are brownish with a darker brown characteristic violin marking on the cephalothorax. However, the "violin marking" cannot be used as a reliable way to identify the spider as many unrelated species of spider have similar markings. Recluses are typically about 7–12 mm long.

The most common and most famous species in the United States is the brown recluse spider (Loxosceles reclusa). It is found in a large area of the Midwest, west to Colorado and the New Mexico state line and east to northern Georgia. Sporadic records from other locations only represent incidental introductions, not established populations.[citation needed] The brown recluse feeds on whatever small prey is available, and has been observed to prefer scavenging over actively hunting.[6] Other notable members of this genus include the Chilean recluse spider (L. laeta) and the Mediterranean recluse spider (L. rufescens).

Recently, concerns have been raised regarding recluses spreading faster due to warmer air carrying them farther as a result of changing climate. On the contrary, newly hatched recluses do not travel via ballooning and thus the populations are confined to very tight spaces with dense populations.[7] Most Loxosceles can live for one and a half to two years. Many species of this genus can live for very long times without food or water. Insecticides often fail to kill the spider, instead intoxicating its nervous system and inducing erratic behavior.[8]

This genus is very hard to identify, as they have very simple coloration and morphology. Many other spiders have similar dorsal markings, leading to confusion and misidentification. They can be most readily distinguished by having 6 eyes, arranged in three pairs. None of the pairs of eyes touch each other, and are arranged in a U shape. The presence of two claws per foot and a rather flat cephalothorax further help distinguish them.[9][10]
Venom components and effects

Loxosceles spiders, like Hexophthalma species, have potent tissue-destroying venoms containing the dermonecrotic agent sphingomyelinase D, which is otherwise found only in a few pathogenic bacteria.[11] Recent research has indicated the venom is composed largely of sulfated nucleosides, though these compounds are relatively new discoveries, so little is known about them.[12] The venom of several species is capable of producing necrotic lesions that are slow to heal and may require skin grafts. Rarely, the venom is carried by the bloodstream, causing red blood cell destruction.

The venom is identical in male and female spiders, but females can have almost twice the concentration of toxins.[13] For unknown reasons, the toxicity of the venom to mammalian species varies; recluse bites may cause necrosis in humans, rabbits, and guinea pigs, but not in mice or rats.[13]

The Chilean recluse (L. laeta) supposedly has a more potent venom, which results in systemic involvement more often. All Loxosceles species that have been tested have venoms similar to that of the brown recluse and all should be avoided. In general, though, they are not aggressive and commonly occupy human dwellings without causing problems.[14]

Many types of skin wounds are mistaken for or assumed to be the result of a recluse spider bite.[15] Several diseases can mimic the lesions of the bite, including Lyme disease, various fungal and bacterial infections, and the first sore of syphilis.[16] It is important to associate the spider directly with the bite to avoid improper treatment, and to successfully treat common infections or other conditions if no spider was seen.

Bites most often occur as a defense when the spider is trapped against the skin, in clothing, for example.[7] The total volume of venom is minute (only 2 micrograms injected out of 4 microliters in the venom glands).[17]

The bite of a recluse spider can generally be categorized into one of the following groups:[7]

Unremarkable – self-healing minute damage
Mild reaction – self-healing damage with itchiness, redness, patterns of aggressive behavior and a mild lesion.
Dermonecrotic – the uncommon, "classic" recluse bite, producing a necrotic skin lesion. About 66% of necrotic bite lesions heal with no complications.[18] In extreme cases, the lesion may be up to 40 centimeters wide, last for several months, and heal with a permanent scar.[7]
Systemic or viscerocutaneous – an extremely rare, systemic reaction to envenomation of the bloodstream. It is observed more often in children.[7]

Most bites are unremarkable or mild.[19][20][21]

As of September 2022 it contains 143 species, found in Central America, the Caribbean, Oceania, Asia, Africa, North America, Europe, and South America:[1]

L. accepta Chamberlin, 1920 – Peru
L. adelaida Gertsch, 1967 – Brazil
L. alamosa Gertsch & Ennik, 1983 – Mexico
L. amazonica Gertsch, 1967 – Peru, Brazil
L. anomala (Mello-Leitão, 1917) – Brazil
L. apachea Gertsch & Ennik, 1983 – USA, Mexico
L. aphrasta Wang, 1994 – China
L. aranea Gertsch, 1973 – Mexico
L. arizonica Gertsch & Mulaik, 1940 – USA
L. aurea Gertsch, 1973 – Mexico
L. baja Gertsch & Ennik, 1983 – Mexico
L. barbara Gertsch & Ennik, 1983 – Mexico
L. belli Gertsch, 1973 – Mexico
L. bentejui Planas & Ribera, 2015 – Canary Is.
L. bergeri Strand, 1906 – Namibia
L. bettyae Gertsch, 1967 – Peru
L. blancasi Gertsch, 1967 – Peru
L. blanda Gertsch & Ennik, 1983 – USA
L. boneti Gertsch, 1958 – Mexico, El Salvador
L. candela Gertsch & Ennik, 1983 – Mexico
L. carabobensis González-Sponga, 2010 – Venezuela
L. cardosoi Bertani, von Schimonsky & Gallão, 2018 – Brazil
L. caribbaea Gertsch, 1958 – Greater Antilles
L. carinhanha Bertani, von Schimonsky & Gallão, 2018 – Brazil
L. carmena Gertsch & Ennik, 1983 – Mexico
L. cederbergensis Lotz, 2017 – South Africa
L. chapadensis Bertani, Fukushima & Nagahama, 2010 – Brazil
L. chinateca Gertsch & Ennik, 1983 – Mexico
L. coheni Zamani, Mirshamsi & Marusik, 2021 - Iran
L. coheni Zamani et al., 2020 – southwestern Iran[22]
L. colima Gertsch, 1958 – Mexico
L. conococha Gertsch, 1967 – Peru
L. coquimbo Gertsch, 1967 – Chile
L. corozalensis González-Sponga, 2010 – Venezuela
L. coyote Gertsch & Ennik, 1983 – Mexico
L. cubana Gertsch, 1958 – Cuba, Bahama Is., HIspaniola
L. cubiroensis González-Sponga, 2010 – Venezuela
L. curimaguensis González-Sponga, 2010 – Venezuela
L. dejagerae Lotz, 2017 – South Africa
L. deserta Gertsch, 1973 – USA, Mexico
L. devia Gertsch & Mulaik, 1940 – USA, Mexico
L. diaguita Brescovit, Taucare-Ríos, Magalhaes & Santos, 2017 – Chile
L. ericsoni Bertani, von Schimonsky & Gallão, 2018 – Brazil
L. fontainei Millot, 1941 – Guinea
L. foutadjalloni Millot, 1941 – Guinea
L. francisca Gertsch & Ennik, 1983 – Mexico
L. frizzelli Gertsch, 1967 – Peru
L. gaucho Gertsch, 1967 – Brazil. Introduced to Tunisia
L. gloria Gertsch, 1967 – Ecuador, Peru
L. griffinae Lotz, 2017 – Namibia
L. guajira Cala-Riquelme, Gutiérrez-Estrada & Flórez, 2015 – Colombia
L. guatemala Gertsch, 1973 – Guatemala
L. guayota Planas & Ribera, 2015 – Canary Is.
L. haddadi Lotz, 2017 – South Africa
L. harrietae Gertsch, 1967 – Peru
L. herreri Gertsch, 1967 – Peru
L. hirsuta Mello-Leitão, 1931 – Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina
L. huasteca Gertsch & Ennik, 1983 – Mexico
L. hupalupa Planas & Ribera, 2015 – Canary Is.
L. imazighen Ribera & Massa, 2021 - Morocco
L. immodesta (Mello-Leitão, 1917) – Brazil
L. inca Gertsch, 1967 – Peru
L. insula Gertsch & Ennik, 1983 – Mexico
L. intermedia Mello-Leitão, 1934 – Brazil, Argentina
L. irishi Lotz, 2017 – Namibia
L. jaca Gertsch & Ennik, 1983 – Mexico
L. jamaica Gertsch & Ennik, 1983 – Jamaica
L. jarmila Gertsch & Ennik, 1983 – Jamaica
L. julia Gertsch, 1967 – Peru
L. kaiba Gertsch & Ennik, 1983 – USA
L. karstica Bertani, von Schimonsky & Gallão, 2018 – Brazil
L. lacroixi Millot, 1941 – Ivory Coast
L. lacta Wang, 1994 – China
L. laeta (Nicolet, 1849) – South America. Introduced to USA, Finland, Australia
L. lawrencei Caporiacco, 1955 – Venezuela, Trinidad, Curaçao
L. lutea Keyserling, 1877 – Colombia, Ecuador
L. luteola Gertsch, 1973 – Mexico
L. mahan Planas & Ribera, 2015 – Canary Is.
L. maisi Sánchez-Ruiz & Brescovit, 2013 – Cuba
L. makapanensis Lotz, 2017 – South Africa
L. malintzi Valdez-Mondragón, Cortez-Roldán, Juárez-Sánchez & Solís-Catalán, 2018 – Mexico
L. manuela Gertsch & Ennik, 1983 – Mexico
L. maraisi Lotz, 2017 – Namibia
L. martha Gertsch & Ennik, 1983 – USA
L. meruensis Tullgren, 1910 – Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania
L. misteca Gertsch, 1958 – Mexico
L. mogote Sánchez-Ruiz & Brescovit, 2013 – Cuba
L. mrazig Ribera & Planas, 2009 – Tunisia
L. mulege Gertsch & Ennik, 1983 – Mexico
L. muriciensis Fukushima, de Andrade & Bertani, 2017 – Brazil
L. nahuana Gertsch, 1958 – Mexico
L. neuvillei Simon, 1909 – Ethiopia, Somalia, East Africa
L. niedeguidonae de Andrade, Bertani, Nagahama & Barbosa, 2012 – Brazil
L. olivaresi González-Sponga, 2010 – Venezuela
L. olmea Gertsch, 1967 – Peru
L. pallalla Brescovit, Taucare-Ríos, Magalhaes & Santos, 2017 – Chile
L. palma Gertsch & Ennik, 1983 – USA, Mexico
L. panama Gertsch, 1958 – Panama
L. parramae Newlands, 1981 – South Africa
L. persica Ribera & Zamani, 2017 – Iran
L. pilosa Purcell, 1908 – Namibia, South Africa
L. piura Gertsch, 1967 – Peru
L. pucara Gertsch, 1967 – Peru
L. puortoi Martins, Knysak & Bertani, 2002 – Brazil
L. reclusa Gertsch & Mulaik, 1940 – North America
L. rica Gertsch & Ennik, 1983 – Costa Rica
L. rosana Gertsch, 1967 – Peru
L. rothi Gertsch & Ennik, 1983 – Mexico
L. rufescens (Dufour, 1820) (type) – Southern Europe, northern Africa to Iran. Introduced to USA, Mexico, Macaronesia, South Africa, India, China, Japan, Korea, Laos, Thailand, Australia, Hawaii
L. rufipes (Lucas, 1834) – Guatemala, Panama, Colombia. Introduced to West Africa
L. russelli Gertsch & Ennik, 1983 – USA
L. sabina Gertsch & Ennik, 1983 – USA
L. sansebastianensis González-Sponga, 2010 – Venezuela
L. seri Gertsch & Ennik, 1983 – Mexico
L. similis Moenkhaus, 1898 – Brazil
L. simillima Lawrence, 1927 – Southern Africa
L. smithi Simon, 1897 – Ethiopia, Malawi, Kenya, Tanzania
L. sonora Gertsch & Ennik, 1983 – Mexico
L. spadicea Simon, 1907 – Peru, Bolivia, Argentina
L. speluncarum Simon, 1893 – South Africa
L. spinulosa Purcell, 1904 – South Africa
L. surca Gertsch, 1967 – Peru, Chile
L. taeniopalpis Simon, 1907 – Ecuador
L. taino Gertsch & Ennik, 1983 – Bahama Is., Jamaica, Hispaniola
L. tazarte Planas & Ribera, 2015 – Canary Is.
L. tehuana Gertsch, 1958 – Mexico
L. tenango Gertsch, 1973 – Mexico
L. tenochtitlan Valdez-Mondragón, 2019 – Mexico
L. teresa Gertsch & Ennik, 1983 – Mexico
L. tibicena Planas & Ribera, 2015 – Canary Is.
L. tlacolula Gertsch & Ennik, 1983 – Mexico
L. tolantongo Navarro-Rodríguez & Valdez-Mondragón, 2020 - Mexico
L. troglobia Souza & Ferreira, 2018 – Brazil
L. turanensis Zamani et al., 2020 – southern Turkmenistan and eastern Iran[22]
L. valdosa Gertsch, 1973 – Mexico
L. vallenar Brescovit, Taucare-Ríos, Magalhaes & Santos, 2017 – Chile
L. variegata Simon, 1897 – Paraguay
L. vicentei Taucare-Ríos, Brescovit & Villablanca, 2022 - Chile
L. virgo Gertsch & Ennik, 1983 – Virgin Is.
L. vonwredei Newlands, 1980 – Namibia
L. weyrauchi Gertsch, 1967 – Peru
L. willianilsoni Fukushima, de Andrade & Bertani, 2017 – Brazil
L. yucatana Chamberlin & Ivie, 1938 – Mexico, Belize, Guatemala
L. zapoteca Gertsch, 1958 – Mexico

See also

List of Sicariidae species
Spider families
List of spiders associated with cutaneous reactions
Chilean recluse


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