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brown recluse range map

brown recluse range map

The brown recluse is known to occur in a range from southeastern Nebraska to southwestern Ohio, south to northwestern Georgia and into Texas. Occurrences outside that range are exceedingly rare. Related species exist in the southwestern United States. (Photo credit: Richard S. Vetter)

10 Comments »

    • The map isn’t incorrect, these species tend to predominately live in these areas, you rarely see them outside these areas. Just because you have seen/ heard of them living in your state does not mean a significant population lives there, thus not making your state apart of their distribution range.

      • The problem with the brown recluse is that it can be very hard to properly identify. Even Entomologist will have to put them under a magnifying glass to properly identify one. Even if a Medical Dr. tells you yep that’s a brown recluse; they don’t really know. You can’t really see a bite and say that’s a recluse, it could be any insect bite that’s let some type of staff resistant infection in. The bottom line is if it’s outside their normal range, it’s probably not a Brown Recluse.

  1. This map is incorrect, I live in south western NY state, and know 3 people who have been bit by them. All 3 were able to recover the spiders in question, and were confirmed brown recluse.

    • All 3 either traveled to a location known to have them and the cane back in travel or were exposed to someone who did right before the bites.

  2. I grew up in Maryland and my brother used to work for a company that maintained street lights. He regularly encountered brown recluse spiders in and around the light fixtures. The map may show their typical range, but they can and have been found outside of that range. As with any living species, its only a matter of time before its transported outside of its home range, either accidental or intentional. If the species can survive in the climate it finds itself in, it can become established. Unless someone officially documents an established population to the extent its determined to be permanent and prominent, it won’t be put on an official range map, so no surprise people encounter them outside of this map.

  3. It’s amazing how many people will insist they’ve been bitten by a brown recluse! Maybe because getting bit by a spider sounds braver than telling people you contacted a staph infection.

    • You are so right. I live in Northern California and have several friends and acquaintances who insist they have them in their backyard and others who’ve said they had been bitten by a brown recluse. They get angry if you mention we don’t have them here.

  4. I love that brown recluse spiders are so mindful of their assigned territory and don’t cross state lines. Amazing, really. There are brown recluse spiders in Virginia that must be renegade or something because, according to this map, and the people who support it, that’s just not possible. Will wonders never cease?!

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