Order and Family:
Loxoscelidae, Violin Spiders
Male 1/4″ (6 mm), female 3/8″ (11 mm). Cephalothorax orange-yellow with dark violin pattern. Bases of legs orange-yellow, rest of legs grayish to dark brown. Abdomen grayish to dark brown with no obvious pattern.
Loose irregular strands.
Eggs overwinter in a loose sac hung in web and guarded by female until she dies. Spiderlings disperse in spring and weave loose webs of sticky silk.
Outdoors in sheltered corners among loose debris; indoors on the floor and behind furniture, in houses and outbuildings.
Originally found from Kansas to Texas but now occurs north to at least Illinois and east to Georgia and West Virginia. Expanding rapidly due to unwitting human transport, and may in fact be found in any of the lower 48 states, although it is not common or known to reproduce in northern or western regions.
This spider sometimes takes shelter in clothing or a folded towel and bites when disturbed.
WARNING: The venom delivered by these spiders is especially poisonous to people, and those bitten often become ill. The wound commonly develops a crust and a surrounding red zone. The crust falls off, leaving a deep crater that often does not heal for several months.