Thursday, August 21, 2008
A Brown Recluse!
I finally got a photo of a live Brown Recluse spider! She is much more photogenic than the 2 dead ones I have in a jar of isopropyl alcohol at school! Spiders have a tendency to curl their legs when they die. Jessica, a spider enthusiast from Knoxville, caught this spider in her apartment and kept her for me. Thank you, Jessica, you are brave!
It is easy to identify the Brown Recluse because of the distinctive "violin" pattern on the cephalothorax. The bite of this spider is dangerous because the venom is necrotic, causing death to the tissue around the site of the bite. Unlike the bite of a Black Widow which is extremely painful, the Brown Recluse's bite is sometimes not even felt, the victim may not know he or she has been bitten until the skin and muscle begins to turn color and die!
I will not keep this spider as long as I have Arachne, the Black Widow. This one will be donating her body to science very soon! I hate to kill her, but she is just too dangerous to have around the house.
***Update: On Aug. 23 my husband put some large black ants into the Brown Recluse's container. A couple of hours later I noticed her legs were curled up --- she was dead. I guess the ants killed her.