This spider prefers undisturbed places, so it typically lives in dark corners and also under furniture, boxes and books. It has a rather shy and nonaggressive behavior, although it will bite humans if it feels threatened. Its web is of a loose and irregular, yet very sticky thread. It is only built as a daytime retreat, and as an egg holder. These spiders can survive six months without food or water, hidden in its lair during daytime, roaming at night.
The most identifiable mark on the brown recluse spider is the violin shaped pattern on top of its abdomen. Differing from most spiders, which have eight eyes, recluse spiders have six eyes arranged in pairs (dyads) with one median pair and two lateral pairs.
About 50% of Brown Recluse Spider bites are ‘dry,’ meaning that no venom is injected and nothing happens to the victim. In fact, often times the victim does not even realize that he has been bit. Typically, when venom is injected, the victim will experience an immediate redness which develops around the bite then begins to disappear within a few hours. Very often, for the first 24 hours, the bite appears to be no worse than that of a mosquito; then it begins to blister in the center. Within 24 to 36 hours the blister breaks open, leaving an open, oozing ulceration.
This ulceration ‘scabs’ over within three weeks from the initial bite, leaving a permanent scar. If the bite is delivered in fatty tissue, the lesion may be very deep and extensive, not healing for over two or three years. In extreme cases where the bite is not taken care of early, skin graft, amputation, and the possibility of bone marrow failure may occur.
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