Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Brown Spider

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Spider 1
Spider 1  

Spider 2
Spider 2  
Hi,
Do all Brown Recluse spiders have the fiddle on their back?  I have what I believe are Brown Spiders with blue grey abdomen and a pale tan cephalothorax.   I have one caught but it is difficult to get a good photo but one is attached
I have zero spider webs in the house but I believe they are up in the area between the roof and the ceiling.
Thanks,
Tom

Answer
Thomas:

Thank you for including the images with your question.

This is *not*, repeat NOT, a Brown Recluse.  The arrangement of the eyes, and the shape of the spinnerets are vastly different from a recluse spider.

Your spider is one of the ground spiders in the family Gnaphosidae:

http://bugguide.net/node/view/1970

None of the U.S. species in this family is dangerously venomous to the average, healthy human or pet.  These spiders hunt on foot and do not spin webs.  They occasionally spin silken retreats where they wait out inclement weather, molt, or lay egg sacs.

Eric

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Eric R. Eaton

Expertise

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.

Experience

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.

Publications
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.

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

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