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Brown recluse spider

The brown recluse spider is a venomous spider of the species Loxosceles[?] reclusa. It is usually between 1/4 to 3/4 inch (6.4-19.1mm) but may grow larger. It is brown and usually has mark on the dorsal side of its thorax, with a black line coming from it that looks like a violin with the neck of the violin pointing to the rear of the spider resulting in the nickname "fiddleback spider". Coloring varies from light tan to brown and the violin marking may not be visible.

As indicated by its name, the spider is not aggressive and usually bites only when disturbed. Only the largest brown recluses have fangs big enough to break through human skin and actual brown recluse bites are rare. The initial bite cannot be felt. Most bites are minor with no necrosis but a small number form a necrotising ulser that destroys soft tissue and may take months to heal, leaving deep scars. Initially there is no pain, but over time the wound may grow to as large as 10 inches (25 cm).

Other conditions are often misdiagnosed as brown recluse bites. It is estimated that 80% of reported brown recluse bites could be misdiagnoses. The misdiagnoses of a wound as a brown recluse bite can delay proper treatment of serious diseases (Article. (http://www.ama-assn.org/sci-pubs/amnews/pick_02/hlsa0805.htm)).

It lives in woodpiles and sheds, closets and garages.

There is now a test for brown recluse venum that can determine if a wound is a brown recluse bite.

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