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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Recluse or Southern House Spider?


Brown Spider
Brown Spider  
Is this some kind of recluse spider or just a southern house spider?

I've been researching online, read that there are different species of recluse spiders and that southern house spiders are commonly mistaken as a recluse spider.

I live in Volusia County, Florida. I found this spider crawling out of my baby's crib at night. He is fine, did not find any bite but did take him to the ER just to have him checked. The ER doctor had no clue what kind of spider it was. He was trying to do a Bing search for it but couldn't identify it. I've also found black and brown widows out on my porch. He did tell me that Brown Recluse spiders are not found in Florida. So, I'm guessing it's this is just a male southern house spider, but would an expert opinion.

Hi, Patricia:

You are to be commended for doing your homework before you even came to me.  You would get an outstanding score if *I* was rating *you*.  LOL!

You are correct, this is a male Southern House Spider, Kukulcania hibernalis .  The ER physician should know that you can't trust images searches in *any* engine, let alone Bing.  Ha!

Consulting an online source for your state might save you time in the future.  I really like what the University of Florida puts out:

The species pages are excellent in their coverage, accurate in the information presented, and helpful in that they suggest ways to prevent, manage, or control troublesome arthropods (insects, arachnids, crustaceans, etc).

Glad your child is ok, you did all the right things in my opinion.  Take care, let me know if I can be of further service. :-)

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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.

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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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