The weather is warming up Acadiana, and that means all sorts of critters will be creeping around a little more than usual. The Brown Recluse, among other spiders start to get a little more frisky in the warmer weather. If you're like me, you have no clue which ones can seriously harm you if you get bitten. Sure, we all know what a Black Widow looks like, but there are a few more crawling around that you need to be aware of.

From venombyte.com

1) Brown Recluse - Brown Recluse spiders are generally yellowish-brown to brown in color, with a darker colored violin shape on the top of the cephalothorax (not the abdomen). The violin is easy to see in the photos on this page. The abdomen is a uniform color, with no markings on it.

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2) Brown Widow - Brown Widow spiders are typically tan to medium brown in color. In some instances, they can be significantly lighter, almost cream colored, while in others they can be much darker brown, almost appearing black. They have the typical widow hourglass marking on the underside of their abdomen, and most of the time this hourglass appears to be orange, sometimes yellow, on the Brown Widow instead of the red color typically found on the related black widow species. The top of Brown Widow's abdomen can vary greatly in the way it is marked. Typically it has red or white spots running down the middle of its back. Sometimes it will also have black and white markings patterned down the sides of the abdomen. The legs of the Brown Widow are typically banded with yellow/brown and black, as can be seen in the photos below, although I have found that this banding is very hard to see unless the spider is in bright lighting. When not in bright lighting, the legs appear dark brown or black.

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3) Northern Black Widow - Northern Black Widow spiders are a glossy jet-black, with a bright-red hourglass marking on the underside of their abdomen. The hourglass of the Northern Black Widow is typically incomplete, with the bottom half and top half separated. The bottom half (farthest from the head) is typically more rounded, rather than triangular. The Northern Black Widow will typically have a row of red dots running down the top of its abdomen, with white stripes running diagonally down the sides of the abdomen.

In addition to the typical hourglass marking on the underside of their abdomen, immature Black Widow spiders can vary greatly in the way they are marked on the top of their back. Typically they have red or white spots running down the middle of their back and white stripes running diagonally down the sides of the abdomen. In the Northern Black Widow these markings are often retained as they mature.

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4) Southern Black Widow - Southern Black Widow spiders are a glossy jet-black, with a bright-red hourglass marking on the underside of their abdomen. They generally have a red dot on the very back end of the abdomen, just above the spinnerets as well. The hourglass of the Southern Black Widow is typically complete; with the bottom half (farthest from the head) having more rounded or squared corners, making the hourglass similar to an anvil in appearance.

In addition to the typical hourglass marking on the underside of their abdomen, immature Black Widow spiders can vary greatly in the way they are marked on the top of their back. Typically they have red or white spots running down the middle of their back. Sometimes they will also have red and white markings patterned down the sides of the abdomen.

wikipedia