Wolf Spider vs Brown Recluse

Wolf Spider vs Brown Recluse

The wolf spider and the brown recluse have overlapping habitats, but there are some clear differences between the two. Most importantly, of course, the bite of the brown recluse can be more damaging than that of the wolf spider.

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They are spiders that roam the ground, digging small vertical galleries or occupying natural cracks from which they lie in wait for their prey, whose presence they detect by ground vibrations. Those of the Pirata genus inhabit humid environments and can run on water or dive into it to escape predators.

They do not make a hunting net (except those of the genera SosippusAglaoctenus ( South American ), and Diapontia (South American), but some line their shelters with silk. The legs and cheliceraethey are robust, the fourth pair of legs being the longest. Two of their eight eyes are relatively large and forward-facing, so they have better vision than most arachnids, allowing them to visually orient themselves and actively pursue prey.

Wolf spider: family, name, and origin

The wolf spider ( Lycosa tarantula ), is also called the wolf tarantula and the European tarantula belongs to the araneomorphs ( Araneomorphae ). Within this infraorder, it is part of the glycoside family ( Lycosidae ). The name tarantula comes from the city of Taranto, located in the southern Italian region of Apulia. The wolf spider is found in the western Mediterranean region, especially in central and southern Italy. However, he also lives in France, Spain, and Portugal.

In its range, the great wolf spider lives in dry, rocky habitats. These are, for example, arid grasslands, sparsely vegetated pastures, and rocky slopes.

Other species of wolf spiders are also called tarantulas. Three of them are the Desertas tarantula ( Hogna ingens ), the radiated wolf spider ( Hogna radiata ), and the Lycosa singoriensis.

Prosome of a glycoside; front view showing the characteristic eye arrangement of the family and the two chelicerae, each with its venomous claw

Males court females with rhythmic movements of their palps and raising of their forelegs. Once permission is obtained, the male places himself on the female’s cephalothorax and fertilizes her with her pedipalps. The females make a spherical sac for the eggs that they carry hanging from the rear and lower end of the abdomen. When the eggs hatch, they carry the young on their abdomen until they make their first molt. In some cases, it has been observed that the females expose the egg sac to the sun.


  • Origin/Distribution:  western Mediterranean region
  • Body length: 2.5-3 cm, palm-size, female larger than male
  • Life expectancy: 2-4 years
  • Terrarium size: 40 x 40 x 30 cm (length x width x height)
  • Tenure: solo
  • Temperatures: 22-26 °C (day), 20 °C (night)
  • Air humidity:  65%
  • Substrate: a mixture of earth and mud
  • Equipment:  cork back wall, stones, and branches
  • Food:  insects such as cockroaches, house crickets, and crickets
  • Characteristics:  nocturnal, three-month hibernation
  • The difficulty of possession: poisonous

How is the wolf spider?

For arachnophobes, the sight of a wolf spider is a horror. Instead, for spider lovers, it is pure fascination. In addition, this fabulous species, with its 30 millimeters in length, is one of the largest wolf spiders in Europe. With a length of 25 millimeters, the males are somewhat smaller and more delicate.

The base color of the males is light gray and that of the females is a little more yellowish. The two sexes have in common a light longitudinal stripe that runs down the center of the greyish-brown thorax. The abdomen has a large longitudinal spot followed by angular dark stripes. Also, the wolf tarantula has two large eyes and six small ones. The large ones are mainly used for hunting. Instead, it is believed that the little ones can only perceive light.

The wolf spider’s legs have black and white spots on the underside and are a uniform grayish-brown on the top. In the head area, the spider has two more pairs of limbs. One of these pairs serves as a biting tool (chelicerae) and the other as an organ of touch (pedipalps). In addition, the pedipalps also house the organs of copulation in males.

Wolf spider environment

Jungle areas, large plains, prairies, mountains, and deserts, among others, are the places where wolf spiders usually live. If there are varieties of insects around them, it will be more comfortable for them to locate and reside in that particular territory.

The United States is generally where this spider lives; the largest and most extraordinary species can be seen in cities like North Carolina. They can be found traveling through Oklahoma and the central region of Texas, although they can also reside from Nebraska to Florida and Maine.

Wolf spiders manage to run in the water to escape their predators. It should be noted that burrows up to 25 cm deep can be dug by some species of these arachnids, others can be found in the basements, windows, and garages of houses or anywhere else in North America.

Likewise, they can be found in pastures and fields, which is extremely important because they manage to eliminate the existence of insects, which are known as pests, they can significantly affect crops and also have complete control of the population.

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They have a very diverse distribution and in any place, they manage to adapt easily. Some live on land, while others live in suburban areas and on the coast.

You must know about its habitat, its characteristics, and everything related to the wolf spider and it is also important that you learn to recognize it because it can be present anywhere in your home and not be aware of it.

How do you live?

The wolf spider is a nocturnal animal that lives on the ground. She spends most of the day in a gallery about 30 centimeters deep that she digs herself. This gallery is covered with a fine-spun cover.

As soon as night falls, the tarantula leaves its hiding place to go hunting. It is guided by its excellent eyesight and its fine hairs, which perceive the slightest vibrations and tremors. In the terrarium, you can see how the agile tarantula practically runs and jumps after the insects.

You may not see the wolf spider for days, but you may also see them basking in the sun. In fact, in its natural habitat, it sits at the entrance of its cave to bask in the sun in spring. In the cold season, the wolf spider hibernates.

What do wolf spiders eat?

To understand what the spider feeds on, we must know that they are carnivorous animals, basically insectivorous, although they can also feed on small invertebrates, and even other spiders. Its hunting techniques can be very varied since it is used to chasing its prey or waiting for its opportunity to pounce on it. When this occurs, the wolf spider will jump to catch its prey between its limbs and begin rolling onto its back before devouring it. Spiders feed mainly on crickets, ants, grasshoppers, and occasionally small lizards and frogs.

What should I keep in mind when buying a wolf spider?

If you want to buy a wolf spider, don’t do it without thinking. Proceed carefully and learn about the spider’s habits first. Next, equip the terrarium according to the species. Also, make sure that it is a farmed animal.

What else should I take into account?

Spiders have a rigid exoskeleton that does not grow with them, so they must shed it. This process is exhausting for them. Before the molt, you will notice changes in the tarantula. They are usually calmer, sleep a lot, and eat less. Do not disturb her during the shedding process under any circumstances. Never pull on old skin either, as the risk of serious injury is enormous.

Bottom line: Give your tarantula plenty of time to acclimatize to the new environment. As soon as you feel comfortable, you will be able to observe a beautiful and fascinating animal. We wish you much happiness with your eight-legged friend.

How are wolf spiders born?

Spider reproduction begins once the male has become interested in the female. After waving his pedipalps frantically in the air, the male will approach the female to copulate, after which the latter will produce the silk that will protect the egg deposit from her.

Similarly, the silk will then be rolled up into a kind of protective sphere, which the female will place on her abdomen and carry with her until the eggs hatch.

Now that we know how the spider reproduces, we must also add that, once the young have been born, they will climb onto their mother’s back and remain there for a while until the mother’s fat reserves are exhausted, or until they can live. on your own.

The wolf spider and its eggs

After retention, the female gender of wolf spiders inquires about a safe place to keep their eggs and arranges them in sacks of silk. It is capable of placing up to 100 eggs in an instant.

As limited species do, the female wolf spider watches over and cares for her eggs, carrying them in spheroidal sacs on her back. She breaks this one to release the young from her when the embryos are ready. When leaving, these agglomerate in the body and the legs of the mother. In addition, they can stay for about a month, hooking on the special hair that emerges from her abdomen.

Wolf Spider Behavior

Wolf spiders are solitary, nocturnal creatures. Some species dig long burrows in the ground, while others climb trees and seek shelter among the leaves.

As with most spiders, the female wolf spider can end up devouring her partner after mating, but this occurs in very rare cases, although the most surprising thing is the overprotective attitude that the mother adopts with her young, a unique feature of this species within the world of arachnids.

As for its bite, it is known that the skin ulceration it causes in humans is actually due to the action of bacteria that infect the wound. Wolf spider venom is generally not fatal, and the most common symptoms of a wolf spider bite are burning, itching, and moderate pain.

Wolf Spider Hunters

Flying species (Birds)

Birds usually feed on vegetables, seeds, and fruits, among others, and their diet is quite diverse. Although some species like live prey more, such as the wolf spider. Spiders typically expose themselves without any physical protection when foraging for supplies, making them susceptible to assault by birds, owls, and eagles.

Batrachians and small lizards   

Although spiders have powerful jaws that they use to try to outright escape death, amphibians are often victorious in the fight. These creatures are the toads, lizards, and frogs that fight with the wolf spider to get nourishment. Snakes and lizards also feed on them, although they generally prefer larger prey.

wolf spider classes

mocha wolf spider

It is the best known among the types of wolf spiders that exist, it is often confused with the brown recluse that belongs to another species. The bite of this one is usually dangerous, compared to the one described above, which is harmless. It is one of the big differences between the two.

The dens are their natural habitat, one of the aspects that characterize them is that instead of weaving webs to exist, they are fully active at night, either to hunt their prey or to protect themselves from predators.

They are usually not aggressive, only if they feel intimidated. Its bite does not cause collateral effects, but it can cause swelling, irritation, and ailments.

Western Class- Wolf Spider

The swamps and coasts are the places where western wolf spiders usually inhabit. One of the most outstanding characteristics of this type is that they are brown, although there are variants with gray or black tones. Also, around their body, they have footprints of different shades.

Due to the extremely careful attitude toward their eggs, wolf spiders are recognized, especially those belonging to the species: Trochosa, Alopecosa, and Arctosa. In the pipes and perforations covered with silk that is found in the subsoil, these arachnids are also located.

Texas Wolf Spider

Spiders in Texas are seen in places near cotton, in forests, in rocky areas, and where there is a lot of debris. These are brown with stripes throughout their body, in the abdominal area they have spots. For its part, the legs can be of various shades.

males are smaller, approximately 13 millimeters, while females can measure up to 20 millimeters long. Also, the males have balls of silk where they deposit their sperm, and the females join these balls to achieve insemination.

Kauai Cave Wolf Spider

They have the particularity of not having eyes and their color is a soft reddish-brown tone. Cave wolf spiders reside in the Kaloa region of Pipo in Hawaii City. These have about 20 millimeters in length. They detect their prey by smell due to their peculiarity of not having eyes.

The amphipods that are around them are food for them, they are in danger of extinction just like this type of spider. The mothers of this species pose their litter in their mouths.

The venom of the Wolf Spider

The unhealthy death of a set of cells in the living being is generated by the toxic substance (poison) that the wolf spider emits, this is called necrosis.

For this simple reason it is necessary to avoid the bite of this arachnid because although it is not deadly, it is unpleasant to suffer from such a lesion on the skin.

In the following short film, we will show you some typologies that will help you recognize the wolf spider, so that you can avoid it and prevent any accident:

Cure for mild sting

A mild sting can be alleviated with home treatment, although other more complicated ones will require attending a health center. It is very important not to place bandages on the wound. Ideally, wash it with antiseptic soap and warm water. At the same time, keeping ice or cold water on it will reduce inflammation.

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Limiting movement and keeping it conditioned is the key to treating these types of injuries. If the ailment continues, it is best to go to a specialist, so that they can recommend analgesics, antihistamines, or antibiotics under the responsibility of the person in treatment. Self-medication should be completely avoided and the most appropriate thing is to consult a doctor.

brown recluse spider

One type of spider in Kentucky that is potentially dangerous is the brown recluse, sometimes known as the violin spider because it has a violin-shaped marking on its abdomen. Although stings are rare, the venom can cause severe injuries. It is important to take measures against any infestation.

Brown recluses are found throughout the south-central and midwestern US. These spiders are very rare outside of their native range, and harmless brown recluse spiders are often identified. Although spider size can vary, adult brown recluses, with all legs extended, are about the size of a quarter. 

They vary from tan to dark brown, and the abdomen and legs are uniform in color, without spots or stripes. The legs are long and skinny and lack spikes. The most distinctive feature of the brown recluse is the dark fiddle-shaped marking on its back, with the fiddleneck to the spider’s butt. This trait is consistent in adults, but it is usually less visible in more immature spiders.

Another more definitive and diagnostic feature is the design of the spider’s eyes. Brown recluses have a semicircular arrangement of 6 eyes in 3 groups of 2, while most other spiders have 8 eyes. To see this feature requires a good quality magnifying glass. Many harmless brown spiders are confused with the brown recluse. It is a good idea to show a specimen to a knowledgeable entomologist or pest control company so they can confirm it as a brown recluse.

Where is it located?

The brown recluse spider is most common in the southern and central states of the United States, especially Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, Louisiana, eastern Texas, and Oklahoma. However, they have appeared in several large cities outside of these areas.

This spider prefers dark, covered areas, such as spaces under decks and in woodpiles.

Wear protective clothing when traveling in areas where this type of spider lives. DO NOT put your hands or feet into their nests or places where they tend to hide, such as dark, covered areas under logs or brush or other wet, boggy areas.


At the time of the spider bite, you may feel a sharp sting or feel nothing at all. The pain usually occurs within the first few hours after the sting and can become severe. Children may have more severe reactions.

Symptoms may include:

  • Shaking chills
  • Itch
  • The general feeling of discomfort or discomfort
  • Fever
  • nausea
  • Reddish or purple coloration in a circle around the bite
  • sweating
  • A large sore (ulcer) at the site of the bite

Rarely, the following symptoms may occur:

  • Coma (unresponsive)
  • Blood in the urine
  • Yellow discoloration of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice)
  • Renal insufficiency
  • seizures

In severe cases, the blood supply is cut off from the bite area. This produces scars of black tissue (eschar) at the site. The eschar falls off after about 2 to 5 weeks, leaving an ulcer through the skin and fatty tissue. The ulcer can take many months to heal and leave a deep scar.

What a brown recluse bite looks and feels like

A person stung by a brown recluse may not initially feel anything or may only feel a small prick. After about eight hours, the bite will start to hurt a little more. It may look like a bruise, or it may form a blister surrounded by a purple area, which turns black or brown and crusts over after a few days.

home care

Seek emergency medical treatment as soon as possible. Call the neighborhood crisis number, like 911 in the United States, or the Poison Control Center.

Follow these steps until you receive medical attention:

  • Wash the area with soap and water.
  • Wrap ice in a clean cloth and place it on the sting site. Apply it for 10 minutes and then remove it and let the area rest for 10 minutes. Repeat the process. If the person has circulation problems, decrease the time you apply the ice to avoid possible skin damage.
  • Immobilize the affected area, if possible, to prevent the spread of the poison. Using a home splint may help if the bite is on the arms, legs, hands, or feet.
  • Release apparel and eliminate rings and other tight adornments.

Before calling emergency

Have the following information handy:

  • Age, weight, and condition of the person
  • The part of the body affected
  • Time the bite occurred
  • The kind of spider, to meet him

Take the individual to the trauma center for treatment. The bite may not seem serious, but it may take some time for it to become more serious. Treatment is important to reduce complications. If possible, place the spider in a secure container and take it to the emergency room for identification.

Customs and development

In the wild, brown recluse spiders live outside, under rocks, logs, woodpiles, and debris. The insect is likewise very much adjusted to living inside with people. Brown recluses are tough enough to withstand winters in unheated basements and sweltering summer temperatures in attics. They can live for a long time without food or water.

These spiders hunt at night, searching for insect prey, dead or alive. Brown recluses do not use any webs to capture food—webs seen on walls or ceilings or other exposed areas are from other spider species, not brown recluses. 

In homes, such webs are produced by harmless basement spiders. Although viewed as nuisances, these cellar spiders feed on brown recluses, and from this perspective, they are beneficial.

During the day, the brown recluse hides in dark, secluded areas. Brown recluse day roosts are often lined with ragged cobwebs, which they use to form the egg sac. Female brown recluses rarely wander from hiding, but males and juveniles often travel farther. As a consequence, males and juveniles are more likely to wander into shoes, clothing, or bedding at night.

When brown recluses are unintentionally trapped against the skin, they bite humans. Rarely, starvation, pesticide application, or overcrowding may cause brown recluses to come out of hiding during the day and crawl on the ground or walls. 

The egg sacs measure about 80 mm. in diameter and are silky, opaque white, containing 40 or 50 eggs. Brood spiders are small but gradually increase in size, shedding their skin 5 to 8 times before becoming adults. Brown recluse shed skins have a stiff appearance and can be very helpful in confirming an infestation. Brown recluses mature in one year and have a lifespan of 2 to 4 years. Females produce up to 5 egg sacs during life. Infestation levels in homes vary from a single spider to hundreds.

Like different insects, the earthy-colored hermit isn’t forceful. For a person living in a building heavily infested by brown recluses, it is common to never get stung at all. Most bites occur in response to accidental pressure from the human body on a spider that is caught against bare skin. Some people suffer from bites when they have turned on a spider in bed.

Other bites occur while someone is moving stored items or boxes or while putting on clothing that a spider has chosen to hide in during the day. Brown recluses have very small fangs, and cannot bite through clothing. 

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Usually, the initial sting does not cause any pain. Many times the victim is unaware of the sting until 3 to 8 hours later when the sting site becomes red, swollen, and painful. Most brown recluse bites are localized, healing within 3 weeks without serious complications or medical intervention.

In other cases, the victim may develop a necrotic lesion, which appears as a sunken, bluish patch with jagged edges and a sticky center with redness around the perimeter. A central blister is common. As the poison continues to destroy tissue, the wound can swell up to several centimeters over days or weeks. The necrotic sore can last for several months, leaving a deep scar.

Rarely, bites in the early stages can produce a systemic reaction, accompanied by fever, chills, dizziness, rashes, and vomiting. Severe reactions to poison are more common in children, the elderly, and patients in poor health. People who suffer from a brown recluse sting should apply ice to the injured person, elevate the affected area and seek medical attention immediately. 

Incorrect medical diagnoses

Spider bites are difficult to diagnose, even by doctors. Contrary to popular belief, it is nearly impossible to identify a brown recluse bite from the wound alone. Many medical conditions mimic the necrotic lesion of a brown recluse bite, including bacterial and fungal infections, gangrene, and diabetic or pressure sores. Many recent misdiagnoses stemmed from an outbreak of drug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections.

The bacteria produce painful lesions that resemble brown recluse bites. Staphylococcus aureus can thrive in cramped residences such as nursing homes, hospitals, barracks, summer camps, and prisons. Similar injuries can also be the result of other types of insects. 

Presumed bites occurring outside the brown recluse’s home range are unlikely. With all suspected spider bites, verification generally requires finding a spider at the time of the bite, in the area. Potential bites are less likely if a close inspection reveals no brown recluses. Anyone bitten by a spider they think is a brown recluse should try to bring a specimen to a qualified individual to identify it. Confirmation by an expert will help the doctor to decide on the appropriate course of treatment.

To control infestations

Brown recluses are difficult to control due to their secretive habits. Any dark or uninterrupted area can serve as a hiding place for spiders. Because brown recluses are a potential health threat, and it takes a great deal of skill and persistence to eliminate them, knowledgeable professionals perform the best treatments. 

Inspection, Sanitation, and Disposal

Close inspection with a good flashlight is necessary to reveal the location and extent of infestations. Common hiding places for brown recluses include cracks, crevices, nooks, wall-floor junctures, behind furniture or clutter, and in garages or basements. 

Reducing clutter offers fewer places for spiders to hide, and can increase the effectiveness of treatments. Brown recluses live behind walls and may inhabit the voids of hollow block foundations. In infested garages, attics, basements, and vents, spiders, egg sacs, and shed skins will be found, especially under insulation. In living areas, they inhabit cracks behind beds and furniture, closets, clothing, shoes, and stored items. While sorting or handling materials from storage boxes, wear gloves and clothing with long sleeves to avoid brown recluse bites. Spiders also live in suspended ceilings and behind baseboards. 

Outside, brown recluses are found in barns, sheds, and woodpiles, and under anything on the ground. Intra-house migration can be reduced by moving firewood, building materials, and debris away from the foundation. Filling cracks and gaps in the exterior of a building can further help control spiders and other insect pests. Some of the most common entry points for brown recluses include gaps under doors, vents and where utility cables enter, and where eaves meet the exterior walls of the building. Outlying populations of brown recluses are less common in the northern parts of their home range. 

glue boards

One way to inspect a building for brown recluses is to install flat, glued cards, known as glue boards. Used to trap mice and cockroaches, these products are sold in supermarkets and hardware stores. The best glue traps for catching brown recluses are pieces of flat, sticky cardboard without a raised perimeter around the edges. 

When using glue boards, the rule is best. When dozens of boards are placed around the house, these traps will reveal hot spots where spiders are most abundant. Put the traps in the corners and next to the joints of the walls and floor, especially behind furniture and clutter, because spiders often travel through these areas. Aside from being useful as detection tools, glue boards capture and kill many spiders, especially males, which roam more. Consider the number of spiders on the glue boards before deciding what steps are needed for removal. Install the boards before using insecticides, because some types of insecticide cause spiders to move and wander into the traps.


Brown recluse infestations warrant the use of insecticides. Glue boards won’t catch all of the spiders; adult females that lay eggs stay hidden longer than males. So, apply insecticides to cracks, voids, and other areas where spiders are, trying to contact as many as possible. Dust, spray, or aerosol formulations can be used. Dust insecticides are effective for treating cracks, for example, under baseboards and along windowsills in basements.

Powders work well under insulation and outlets to contact spiders traveling up wires from the attic. The most common dust insecticides include silica gel (two professional brands are Drione and Tri-Die) and deltamethrin (DeltaDust). 

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Insecticide sprays can also be effective if they are applied directly to and around joints in floors and walls, along the edges of suspended ceilings, and in other places where spiders often travel. The best ingredients in spray form include cypermethrin, cyfluthrin, bifenthrin, deltamethrin, and lambda-cyhalothrin, which are contained in professional insecticide brands such as Demon, Tempo, Talstar, Suspend and Demand. Consumer versions contain similar ingredients, for example, Bayer Advanced Multi-Insect Killer, Spectracide Triazicide, and Ortho Home Defense Max. 

Bug bombs and full-dispense foggers are ineffective against these spiders. These products should only be used for totally inaccessible areas. Insecticide treatments can be applied outside to reduce the entry of brown recluses. Treat cracks in exterior walls, and apply sprays along the base of the foundation, or at other entry points. 

How to avoid bites

The best way to avoid being bitten by a brown recluse is to be careful in the areas where they like to be. Don’t play on piles of rocks or wood. If you’re gardening on large piles of wood or leaves, wear gloves.

Be sure to shake out blankets and clothing that have been stored in the attic or basement, or have been stored in a closet and not been worn in a long time.

If you keep your shoes in a garage, shake them out before putting them on.

Wolf Spider vs Brown Recluse

The main differences between the two species include:

  • Appearance – Brown recluses are darker and much slimmer.
  • Size – Wolf spiders are up to 3 times larger than the brown recluse.
  • Patterns on the body – the wolf spider has patterns on the back of its body, while the brown recluse spider has only one distinctive pattern: a violin shape on its head.
  • Leg thickness – a good way to tell which spider you are dealing with is to look at the legs – the brown recluse has thinner legs than the wolf spider.
  • Venom – The brown recluse’s venom causes more damage to humans than the wolf spider.


The brown recluse is found in certain parts of North America, especially the southern states (Texas, Arizona, Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, and Louisiana, as well as a few other states). By comparison, the wolf spider is found in almost all of the Americas and almost every other continent in the world.

IMPORTANT Note: This is general information for entertainment purposes only. Assuming you have been chomped, look for proficient clinical consideration right away. Continuously have experts recognize and deal with your vermin control needs.

Wolf Spider vs Brown Recluse

Characteristicbrown reclusewolf spider

1. Scientific name loxosceles reclusa


2. Body size (not including legs) 10mm 10 – 35mm

3. Habitat southern states All of North America

4. color uniform brown, gray, and yellow

5. Identification pattern None black stripes

6. Eyes 6 triangle shaped 8 in rows

7. Bite Poison Very dangerous Mild

8. Website Type tangled web None

Brown Recluse Spiders – Overview

The earthy colored hermit is perhaps the deadliest insect in the United States. Usually found in the southern states, it’s a pretty rare creature that you might find curled up inside your shoes one morning! It is a ground-dwelling creature known for its extremely painful and sometimes deadly bite. One characteristic is the brown recluse.

is just that: brown! And keeping in mind that numerous different bugs are brown, this one is remarkably uniform with no patterns on its back. (Note that other spiders can also appear completely brown, making them difficult to identify.)

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According to most identification guides, the brown recluse’s most defining characteristic is its six triangle-shaped eyes. You get a great view of them in the video above.

Wolf spiders are named for their remarkable hunting abilities. These hairy spiders are found throughout the United States and are perhaps best known for the fact that they carry their babies on their backs for up to 6 months after birth.

They are also unique in that they do not spin webs. They live in openings in the ground or other secret normal spaces.

A bite from a wolf spider will not kill a human.

It is difficult to identify a wolf spider because its patterns and colors can vary significantly. However, the fact that they carry their babies on their backs and carry their eggs with them means that you can identify some female wolf spiders very quickly.


Let’s take a look at the similarities between these two species.


These two species of spiders are found in certain parts of North America. While the wolf spider is found in most states in North America and throughout the world, the brown recluse spider is typically found only in southern states.

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They both like to hide in closed spaces where they have some peace. They both prefer dark, enclosed corners where they have enough freedom and peace to patiently wait for their prey animals to appear. Both do not like contact with humans, as they are quite shy and will not attack voluntarily.

They both look terrible

In addition to living in similar conditions and hiding in spaces where they cannot be found, these two animals look terrifying at first sight, which is why they are both quite feared. However, wolf spiders have unfairly earned this reputation.

As you will see in this article, wolf spiders are not as dangerous as they seem. Brown recluse spiders, on the other hand, are much more dangerous because their venom can cause serious damage, so it is absolutely essential that you be able to recognize which bug you see and recognize these two.


There are far more differences between these two species than similarities, so let’s take a look.


The wolf bug is bigger than the earthy-colored hermit. Its body (not including legs) can grow up to 1.5 inches in size, while the brown recluse may not even reach an inch in size. A good way to see which spider you are dealing with is to look at the size of the spider and see if it fits the description. If it appears fairly small and less furry, you may have a brown recluse!

Stripes and body-color

The clearest contrast between the two bugs will be visual. That is, the wolf spider has a much more diverse color pattern on its body and will often have black and yellowish stripes down the back of its body.

The brown recluse, on the other hand, will be completely brown, so you won’t see any patterns on its body (except for the violin shape near its head). The earthy-colored loner is a lot simpler to recognize than the wolf spider, which is mainly due to its unicolor body pattern.

So the best way to find the difference between the two is to look at the color of the spider. If it’s completely brown and a smaller spider, it’s most likely the brown recluse. If it has some patterns, it’s probably the wolf spider.


A wolf spider has eight eyes arranged in rows, while a brown recluse spider has six eyes arranged in a triangle. Wolf bugs are well known for their three columns of eyes. The bottom row is four small eyes next to each other. Over that is a line of two bigger eyes. Then on top of that, there are again two eyes pointing to the sides. So the pattern is 4-2-2.

A brown recluse, on the other hand, has six eyes, not eight. These eyes are in three pairs. The pairs form a triangle of eyes on the face of the animal.

Hair and thickness

Wolf insects have hairs on their bodies that are a lot more apparent and easily visible, making them easier to spot. Brown recluses, on the other hand, do not have as visible hairs, which makes them appear slimmer.

Although the hairs make the wolf spider look more intimidating, you will find that the wolf spider is not that scary. It is the brown recluse that is the most dangerous thanks to its dangerous-looking appearance. However, it does not have many hairs on its body.

Due to this fact, you will see that the brown recluse may appear slightly slimmer, while the wolf spider will be bulkier and much thicker. This is, again, another good way to distinguish between the two. The legs, in particular, will be more slender with the brown recluse compared to the wolf spider.

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Cobweb weaving

One more vital distinction between these two insects is their weaving habits. The wolf spider will not make any webs, while the brown recluse may make some webs that are irregular in shape.

The brown recluse web will appear irregular and not very uniform. However, this cannot be a definitive determinant of whether the spider is a brown recluse. Many other spiders also have irregularly shaped webs.

However, it’s easy to eliminate the chances of a spider being a brown recluse by looking at the web. If it’s a web that looks like a web between trees (think Charlotte’s Web), then it’s not a brown recluse. What you would have there is a variety of orb weaver spiders.

A brown recluse’s webs do not play the role of catching prey as they do with the vast majority of other spiders. Instead, it plays a more protective role where the brown recluse can hide if in danger.


Wolf spiders can jump, while brown recluse spiders do not do that at all. Instead, he prefers to hide in dark corners and places in his home, so he could be found in his shoes and his wardrobe.

The most common way people are bitten by the brown recluse is when they are trying to put on their shoes and the spider is inside that shoe. This is when the spider bites and the bite can cause a severe reaction. That’s why the most important thing when a brown recluse bites are to act quickly. You need to seek immediate care.

What is more poisonous?

The brown recluse is far more venomous than the wolf spider, hands down. Brown recluse bites can cause serious reactions:

perspiring, bothering, tipsiness, dizziness, unpredictable heartbeat, and if not treated quickly enough, some long-term problems can occur. But despite that, 90% of these brown recluse bites will heal on their own, while a small percentage will cause lasting damage.

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On the other hand, a wolf spider bite is largely harmless. It may not cause any harm at all, while some people will experience skin irritation, pain at the sting site, and a few other minor signs, but nothing major at all. This bite can only be dangerous for people who are allergic to spider bites.

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This might come as a surprise to some people, as the wolf spider seems to be so dangerous, so you would naturally think that a bite from this spider will also cause lasting damage. However, it is the brown recluse that is much more dangerous of these two species.


Identifying a wolf spider and a brown recluse spider could be the difference between being bitten by one of the world’s most dangerous spider species and a harmless spider. Fortunately, the differences between the two spiders are quite apparent and should be fairly easy to spot, even at first glance.

Search for stripes on their bodies, their tones, and the size of the spider to quickly identify them. The wolf spider is much stockier and hairier and has patterns on its back. The brown recluse, on the other hand, will be completely brown and may not have any patterns that are visible.