Is It – or Isn’t It – a Brown Recluse Spider?

— Written By

Over the past few years, Matt Bertone (NC State University Entomologist) and a couple of his peers conducted a project where people submitted photos of spiders that they thought were the brown recluse (Loxosceles reclusa). Of the submitted photos, 81 percent were not the brown recluse. These photos came from across the US and several other countries.

Most of North Carolina is outside of the typical range for this spider; however, it may still occasionally be encountered. Over the past 20 years, 100 percent of the spiders brought to the Onslow County Plant Clinic were not the brown recluse. The most commonly misidentified spider, in Onslow, was the wolf spider (family Lycosidae). Two helpful tools to see if the spider you found is a brown recluse are linked here:

Matt’s brown recluse project is ongoing. So, as the weather warms and the spiders become more active, keep him in mind.