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How to Tell It's NOT a Brown Recluse

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Updated April 09, 2014

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Loxosceles Rhymes with Isosceles for a Reason
brown recluse legs

The legs of loxosceles are slanted -- it's what the name means.

Image courtesy of CDC

Loxosceles rhymes with with isosceles, which you may remember from geometry is a type of triangle. The words are similar for a reason.

Loxosceles actually means slanted legs. If you look at a brown recluse from the side you can see how the body sits low and the legs angle up to a point. It's that angular, slanted shape of its legs that give the brown recluse its scientific name.

Two more distinct features of brown recluse legs:

  • No spines: Unlike many other spider species, loxosceles does not have spikes or spines on its legs. They are smooth.
  • One color: Some spiders have multi-colored legs, but loxosceles keeps it solid -- no stripes and no patterns.

If your spider doesn't have these legs then it's definitely not a brown recluse. If you find these leg characteristics similar to your spider then look into its eyes, all 6 of them.

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