Loxosceles devia (Texas Recluse Spider)

About Loxosceles devia

Taxonomic Hierarchy

→ Kingdom: Animalia
→ Phylum: Arthropoda
→ Class: Arachnida
→ Order: Araneae
→ Family: Sicariidae
→ Genus: Loxosceles
→ Species: Loxosceles devia

Common Name (Official / AAS)

Texas Recluse Spider

Other Common Names

Brown Spider

Author

Authors of species name: Willis J. Gertsch & Stanley B. Mulaik. First year published: 1940, as Loxosceles devius.

Pronunciation

locks-OSS-sell-eez DEE-vee-uh

Meaning

Loxosceles is a Latin translation of a combination of Greek words that together mean “slanted leg” (Cameron 2005). The species name devia is from the Latin adjective meaning “straying” and “devious.”

Notable Previous Names

Loxosceles devius

Identifying Traits of Loxosceles devia

Size

Body length (excluding legs) of adult female ranges from 6-10 mm; adult males range from 5-10 mm.

Female Primary Colors

Male Primary Colors

Eye diagram of Loxosceles devia

Eyes

Total of only six eyes, arranged in a triad of three pairs. This eye arrangement is one of the main diagnostic features for all Loxosceles species. Perhaps the only type of spider in North America with a similar eye arrangement is the “spitting spider” (family Scytodidae). However, their body shape is quite different from that of a “recluse.”

Legs

Legs long and slender in proportion to the body, especially so in males, and are light brown without any markings. The second pair is always the longest, while the third pair is the shortest. The leg posture can be somewhat “crab-like.” Tarsi (tips of legs) have 2 claws.

Body

Abdomen is an elongated oval shape and larger than cephalothorax; usually a light brownish-gray color with no markings or spots whatsoever.  Carapace is a different shade of light brown with a darker marking in the center that is often reduced to a dusky ‘Y’-shaped marking. Sometimes a full violin shape is present but not as often as in the “brown recluse” (Loxosceles reclusa).

Range of Loxosceles devia

Loxosceles devia can be found in the following states, provinces and territories across the United States and Canada. Our current understanding of each spider's distribution is drawn from numerous scientific publications and online spider submissions, in order to be as accurate as possible. It is important to remember that spiders do not adhere to the territorial lines decided on by humans, therefore these ranges are subject to change.

Important Range Notes

This species is found in southern Texas and adjacent Mexico.

United States

Canada

Species not seen in Canada.

Additional Information

Habitat

This spider lives mostly under stones, in abandoned rodent burrows, and other natural refuges; it will also live about buildings, outside and inside, seeking shelter behind or inside boxes, furniture, and other objects where the animal will not likely be disturbed. Treat belongings in storage with caution: don’t put your hands where you cannot see.

Web

The web is a tangled, non-sticky, haphazard snare, usually spun beneath stones, at the mouth of an old rodent burrow, or within boxes or other objects in garages, sheds, and other outbuildings.

Season

Mature individuals may be found at almost any time of year. They are long-lived (individuals of related species surviving as long as four years or more in captivity), perhaps owing to their reclusive nature.

Food

Prey is any insect, other spider, or invertebrate that the spider is able to subdue with its venom.

Lifecycle

Loxosceles spiders in general have relatively low reproductive potential. Egg sacs of related species average between 30 and 50 eggs per sac, with rates of successful hatching varying from 40-80% (Vetter 2008). Females require more than one mating over their lifetimes to maintain their fertility, and egg production and survivability of offspring appears to steadily decline as females age. Spiderlings do not disperse far, so populations of Loxosceles are typically large and highly localized. They tolerate the company of other individuals of their kind more than most spiders, provided there is adequate prey available. These are long-lived animals (even the males), and adult specimens can be encountered at any time of year.

Remarks

This is a potentially dangerous species. Reactions to envenomation (bites) vary from “unremarkable” (little, if any, damage and are self-healing) and “mild” (redness and itching, but usually self-healing) to “dermonecrotic” (a necrotic skin lesion that requires medical intervention) or, very rarely “systemic or viscerocutaneus” (affecting the vascular system and potentially fatal). The overwhelming majority of bites fall into the first two categories. Further, and most importantly, a great many other medical conditions can produce the necrotic skin lesions so often wrongly attributed to Loxosceles spiders. Please consult Rick Vetter’s 2008 article for a list of these. Misdiagnosis can lead to worse problems than a mere spider bite (if the actual cause is MRSA, for example). Lastly, the potential for bites is slim, and can be largely avoided by taking simple precautions.

Pictures of Loxosceles devia (Texas Recluse Spider)

General

Female Spiders

Male Spiders

Filtering options are grayed out when we do not have pictures for the given perspective. If you are a spider photographer, you can submit pictures of spiders to help fill any voids in our ever expanding library.
  • Loxosceles devia
  • Sex: MaleMale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal
  • City/Region: Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, Mission
  • State: Texas
  • Country: United States
  • Loxosceles devia
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Attributes: Dorsal, Eyes
  • City/Region: North of Big Wells, Zavala County
  • State: Texas
  • Country: United States
  • Loxosceles devia
  • Sex: MaleMale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Eyes
  • City/Region: Big Wells
  • State: Texas
  • Country: United States

References and Further Reading

Various Research Papers

Scientific Diagrams and Keys for Identification

Species guide last updated: February 21, 2014

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