March 29, 2010
We found this spider in Cleveland, Texas this past February while cleaning out a neglected bookshelf. It was between the books in a rather disorderly looking web. The house it was found in is in a wooded area. We’ve been keeping it in a container with wound wire for observation since, and it has established an intricate, cob-webby web between the wires and is living on a steady diet of mosquito hawks and silverfish. We’ve done a lot of image searching for an identity, but the closest we can find is that it’s a brown recluse. However, it lacks a distinct violin marking (although a dark line similar to the violin neck runs down the cephalothorax), the pedipalps are much more defined and less tufty, and the legs seem to be less spindly. We haven’t been able to get a coun t on the eyes, as they’re a bit hard to see. We’ve noticed some small indentions in pairs on the dorsal side of the abdomen, no idea what those are. If its behavior is of any help, we’ve noticed that it cuts its finished prey from its web to let it fall (although perhaps that’s common in spiders). Any help would be much appreciated! Also, if you happen to know, we’d love to know what those indentions are (pictured in photo 3)! Thanks very much.
Laura and Michael
Dear Laura and Michael,
You may rest assured that this is not a Brown Recluse. It is a Crevice Weaver Spider in the genus Kukulcania, and it is well represented on BugGuide. According to BugGuide: “These spiders create a tube-like retreat in cracks. This spider varies greatly in color from light brown to dark black. Females are generally grey to black while the males are tan. Males look very similar to the Recluse spiders, except they have much longer pedipalps, eight eyes (not six as in the Recluse family), and very long front legs.” It is our opinion that your specimen is a female.