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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Spider Identification Please



Hi, I was wondering if you could ID this spider for me. Lately this kind of spider has been coming out at night. I was washing laundry and it caught me off guard and I smacked it away. It ended up dying but I took pictures still. I couldn't get its eyes to focus on my camera. However, I zoomed in and lightened the photo. I live in Southwest Virginia and I'm worried about brown recluse spiders. Thank you in advance for taking your time to answer!

Hi, Chasity:

Both images are of the same spider? The top (dark?) image is of a male wolf spider, family Lycosidae.  The bottom image reminds me more of a grass spider, family Agelenidae.

Neither spider is a brown recluse.  Male spiders of many different species, even those normally found in webs, wander at this time of year in search of mates.  They occasionally stray indoors during this time.

No wolf spider *or* grass spider species is known to be dangerously venomous to the average, healthy human being or pet, though some people are prone to venom allergies, or they have compromised immune systems.

Thank you for appreciating what I do here!


Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Eric R. Eaton


I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.


Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

Awards and Honors
One of the top 50 experts in all categories for, 2009.

Past/Present Clients
Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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