Brown recluse, violin, fiddleback, or fiddler (Loxosceles) spiders are found in southern North America and in
South America; they live in hot, dark, covered areas, such as wood or rock
piles. These poisonous brown spiders are about
0.5 in. (1.27 cm) long with a
dark violin-shaped mark on the combined head and midsection (cephalothorax)
with long skinny legs. They have 6 eyes grouped in 3 pairs rather than 8 eyes
like other spiders.
Symptoms of a brown recluse spider bite include:
Reddened skin that may be followed by a blister that forms
at the bite site.
Mild to intense pain and itching for 2 to 8 hours
following the bite.
An open sore (ulcer) with a breakdown of tissue
(necrosis) that develops a week or more following the bite. This may take
months to heal.
Other symptoms that may begin 1 to 2 days after a bite
Fever and chills.
Skin rash all
over the body with many tiny, flat purple and red spots.
A doctor should be called immediately when a person is bitten by a
brown recluse spider.
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine