Chilean Recluse Spider

Last updated: November 1, 2023
Verified by: AZ Animals Staff
© Pong Wira/Shutterstock.com

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Chilean Recluse Spider Scientific Classification

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Animalia

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Chilean Recluse Spider Locations

Chilean Recluse Spider Locations

Chilean Recluse Spider Facts

Chilean Recluse Spider Physical Characteristics

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Chilean Recluse Spiders (Loxosceles laeta) are highly venomous spiders of the family Loxosceles. This type of spider is native to South America and lives in a wide range across several South American countries.

The Chilean Recluse Spider is extremely dangerous and is one of the most venomous of all recluse spiders. Bites from this type of spider oftentimes result in serious injury or potentially even death. For this reason, these animals are widely feared where they occur.

Chilean Recluse Spiders go by many nicknames. Thankfully, for those who live in its native range, one of those is the “happy spider.” It has this nickname due to the fact that it only bites out of self-defense or when touched.

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Some of the other names for the Chilean Recluse Spider include Fiddle Back Spider, Violin Spider, and Araña de Rincon, or ‘corner spider.’ The first two names come from the violin-shaped patterns on its thorax, which can help one identify this spider.

Species, Types, and Scientific Names

Chilean Recluse Spiders are members of the Sicariidae, which itself is part of the Arachnida class of animals. More specifically, they are members of the genus Loxosceles, which includes all of the other types of Recluse Spiders.

The scientific name of the Chilean Recluse Spider is Loxosceles laeta. Members of its family, Sicariidae, live all over the world. Many members of this spider family are highly venomous, some at deadly levels.

Appearance: How to Identify Chilean Recluse Spiders

Like many Recluse Spiders, Chilean Recluse Spiders don’t actually have the flashiest appearance. However, there are some common indications that can help you identify one.

One thing to look for is the source of their nickname, Violin Spider. They have this nickname because of the violin pattern on their thorax. This pattern appears as black line formations, with the neck of the violin pointed towards the spider’s rear end.

Another way to differentiate a Chilean Recluse Spider from other spiders it might be related to is through its size. Chilean Recluse Spiders are, on average, the largest of the recluse spiders, averaging between a hefty 8-40 mm.

Chilean Recluse Spiders are also identified by the strange shape of their webs. Like many types of recluse spiders, these spiders spin chaotic, disorderly webs with no discernible patterns.

Usually, you won’t want to get close enough to a recluse spider to observe this. However, many recluse spiders have a distinctive eye pattern that helps scientists identify them in the field.

This eye pattern features two closely put-together eyes in the center of the spider’s face. There also are two eyes set wider apart towards the sides of the spider’s head.

Brown recluse spider. Violin spider.

Chilean Recluse Spiders have a violin pattern on their thorax.

©Nick626/Shutterstock.com

Habitat: Where to Find Chilean Recluse Spiders

Like many recluse spiders, Chilean Recluse Spiders like to dig themselves into the dark, cool corners of sheds, houses, and gardens. This is one of the reasons that these spiders are relatively dangerous. They like to occupy dark areas where people might be rifling for tools or gardening supplies and the like.

One of the spider’s nicknames, the Araña de Rincon, makes reference to this. This Spanish phrase roughly translates to “spider in the corner” in English.

Chilean Recluse Spiders are native to South America but have been introduced all over the world. They exist in places as diverse as Los Angeles, Australia, Massachusetts, and Helsinki.

Evolution and History

Spiders and other arachnids have been independently evolving as an order of animals for at least 380 million years. This means that the earliest spiders likely shared space with the dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures. Scientists point to the emergence of ‘true spiders’ (spiders that spin webs and produce silk) about 375 million years ago.

Arachnids themselves likely independently evolved from an aquatic class of similar creatures. These ancient creatures are called the chelicerates. Nowadays, there are thousands of species of spiders that have been described by science, spread out over 4,000 genera and 114 families.

What Do Chilean Recluse Spiders Eat?

What Do Chilean Recluse Spiders Eat?

Chilean Recluse Spiders and the rest of the recluse spider family are active rather than passive hunters. This means that they will actively go out and pursue their prey to eat. They do this rather than lie in wait for something to land on their web.

These spiders prefer to hunt at night and stay dormant during the day. Like most spiders, their diet consists primarily of insects. However, they also eat other spiders and small fish as well.

There have been some observations of Chilean Recluse Spiders engaging in opportunistic scavenging. This type of behavior is also common with the other types of recluse spiders.

Chilean Recluse Spider

Chilean Recluse Spiders are active rather than passive predators.

©Ssiltane / CC BY-SA 4.0 – License

What Eats Chilean Recluse Spiders?

Common predators of Chilean Recluse Spiders include fish, birds, and small mammals such as raccoons. These are the types of creatures that eat most kinds of spiders.

It’s possible that common household pets like cats and dogs will also eat these spiders. Such encounters can be dangerous for one’s pets.

How to Get Rid of Chilean Recluse Spiders

Because the spiders are highly venomous and highly dangerous, great care must be taken when trying to remove them. Anything less could result in serious injury.

In many cases, performing preemptive measures of spider control can help prevent them from establishing a colony. This includes things like sweeping, removing excess clutter and vegetation, and frequently dusting or vacuuming the corners of one’s household.

You can also take extra steps to deter spiders from entering your main household. One effective method comes through sealing off the creaks under and over your doorways and windows. There are a variety of household products that can help you do this.

If you’re dealing with multiple recluse spiders on the level of an infestation, you’ll likely want to call a professional exterminator to deal with this problem. That’s because an infestation on this level can be a highly dangerous situation.

Chilean Recluse Spider Venom

As mentioned before, Chilean Recluse Spiders are highly venomous and are perhaps the most venomous of all of the spiders in their family.

The venom of the Chilean Recluse Spider induces a unique set of symptoms and conditions upon a bite. This is true for the other species of recluse spiders as well. This set of conditions is named loxoscelism, so called for the scientific name of this family of spiders, loxosceles.

The effects of a bad recluse spider bite can be quite severe, and the impact of loxoscelism is nothing to laugh at. Some of the common symptoms include skin ulcers, skin necrosis, kidney failure, nausea, and even possibly death. The venom of recluse spiders attacks the red blood cells of a victim. The cells subsequently begin to dissolve and die as the venom courses through a victim’s bloodstream.

Chilean Recluse Spider venom is highly complex and contains a cocktail of different toxins. This makes the study of these spiders highly interesting for those in the medical field. It can help teach science more about how to treat these types of spider bites.

An anti-venom for spider bites is available. It is primarily found in South American countries where these spiders are the most common. However, a victim must seek treatment almost immediately to counteract the negative effects of a bite. Seeking treatment outside of the first 12 hours of a spider bite can be too late for the anti-venom to be effective.

Closeup picture of a female of the Mediterranean recluse spider Loxosceles rufescens (Araneae: Sicariidae), a medically important spider with cytotoxic venom photographed on white background.

Chilean Recluse Spiders are highly venomous.

©Tobias Hauke/Shutterstock.com

FAQS

· How Dangerous Is the Chilean Recluse Spider?

The Chilean Recluse spider is highly venomous but non-aggressive. The danger of this spider comes from accidental bites incurred when victims accidentally disturb the spider where it’s dwelling.

· Where Do Chilean Recluse Spiders Live?

Chilean Recluse spiders are native to South America but can be found worldwide. In the United States, they have been recorded in California, Georgia, Massachusetts, Florida, and Kansas.

· What Are the Chilean Recluse Spider’s Nicknames?

The Chilean Recluse spider has several nicknames. Some of the most common ones include the Violin Spider, Fiddleback Spider, and Araña de Rincon (corner spider).

Related Animals

1. Brown Recluse Spider

2. Desert Recluse

3. Six-eyed Sand Spider

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