Wolf Spider vs Brown Recluse Spider: Facts and Differences

Can you differentiate between wolf spider vs brown recluse spider? The sight of even a single spider can send many people into a panic, and many people would rather not deal with an infestation.

Then yet, these eight-legged critters’ notoriety may be exaggerated for no good reason at all.

Follow along as we contrast the wolf spider vs brown recluse spider in terms of where they may be found, what they do, what kind of venom they have, and how to identify them.

Wolf Spiders vs Brown Recluse Spiders: Key Variations

Wolf Spiders Vs Brown Recluse Spiders

The distributions of these two species are very different from one another, with only a small fraction of the Earth’s surface shared by both.

These two spiders are easily distinguishable from one another even when they occur in the same environment.


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1. Habitat

Wolf spiders can be found practically everywhere besides extremely frigid climates. Forests, woods, coastal locations, mountains, human settlements, meadows, and gardens are all potential homes for them.

They don’t weave webs, but some species dig burrows and build fortresses with pebble barriers and secret entrances.

You can find brown recluse spiders in the United States all the way from Nebraska to Texas, and even as far east as Georgia and Kentucky.

In dark locations like attics, cellars, and sheds, they weave tangled webs. They appear to enjoy cardboard shelters especially. When people put their hands where spiders might be hiding and scare them, they get bitten.


2. Reproduction

Some species of wolf spiders have quite complicated courtship rituals, much like the rituals of brown recluse spiders.

The female wolf spider is unusual among spiders in that she carries her egg sac in her spinnerets. Baby birds learn to jump onto their mother’s back and ride shotguns as she travels.

After some time, they disperse by letting a strand of silk create a parachute and being swept away by the wind. The female brown recluse spider will carry or dangle her egg sac from her web or a nearby plant.

The spiderlings will remain in the egg sac until they are ready to undergo their first molt. They don’t have balloons like wolf spiders or ride their mothers’ backs to get around.


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3. Behavior

The brown recluse spider is a reclusive creature that prefers to rest during the day and hunt at night. Insects, particularly common domestic pests like cockroaches, make up the bulk of this spider’s diet.

Some kinds of poisonous wolf spiders are known to be hostile toward humans; in fact, one of these spiders is even named “Rabidosa Rabida” (“Rabid Wolf Spider”).

Some wolf spiders wait patiently for food to wander within striking distance, while others actively hunt for their meals.

Some, like the brown recluse, hunt during the day, while others, like the common raccoon, sleep during the day and prowl for prey at night.


4. Name

Lycosidae is a family that contains wolf spiders. The wolf is called Lykos in Greek. There are 124 different families, totaling 2888 unique species.

The genus Loxosceles includes the brown recluse, and its name comes from the Greek for “slanting legs.” The United States is home to eleven different species of the spider genus Loxosceles.


5. Type of Body

The brown recluse spider can be identified by counting its eyes. Its six eyes set it apart not only from the wolf spider but from all other spiders. Spiders typically have six legs, but some have eight.

The arachnid is presumably a brown recluse because its eyes are around the same size and come in pairs positioned on its head.

Wolves spiders have six eyes total: two large ones in the middle of their faces, four smaller ones in a row below them, and two more on top.

The spider’s vision is greatly enhanced by these eyes. The brown recluse likely has poor eyesight. Its long legs are held in a crablike position by the brown recluse, whereas the wolf spider, like most others, splays its legs out.

Wolf spiders exist in a wide range of sizes and colors, with about 3000 different species. Because the spider is a tasty treat for many larger creatures, it tends to favor muted tones that help it blend in with its surroundings while it hunts.

The brown recluse’s light brown skin is often marked with a dark brown “violin” on its sternum. Because of this, it is also known as a fiddle back spider or a violin spider.

The average length of a brown recluse spider is between 0.24 and 0.79 inches, while a wolf spider can be anywhere from 0.04 to 1.5 inches in length.


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Facts and Features of the Wolf Spider

Wolf Spider Vs Brown Recluse Spider

Wolf spiders, with the exception of Antarctica, can be found in a wide variety of habitats worldwide, including shrubs, woods, marshes, meadows, and more.

The wolf spider poses no threat to humans due to its lack of venomous bites. Furthermore, they are not hostile and will not bite unless they are cornered.

In-depth studies of two wolf spider species—one from Australia and one from South America—thought to be more hazardous than their North American counterparts found that neither is likely to kill a human being.

A wolf spider bite may result in mild symptoms such as itching, swelling, and a tiny rash. We still don’t know what exactly goes on during mating dances.

Vibrating dances performed by male spiders to attract females have been observed, yet the specifics of these dances are still little understood.

Females of this genus have been observed killing males who try to mate with them, a behavior known as female-to-male cannibalism.


What Do Wolf Spiders Eat?

Crickets, grasshoppers, ants, smaller spiders, and even small reptiles make up a large portion of their diet.

They mostly engage in ambush hunting, waiting for their prey to stumble upon them through their heightened sensitivity to vibrations created by flapping wings and footfalls.

Occasionally they change tactics and begin aggressively seeking their food.


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Facts and Features of the Brown Recluse spider

Wolf Spider Vs Brown Recluse Spider

Regions of Illinois, Indiana, Texas, Georgia, and Louisiana, as well as the southern parts of Nebraska and Iowa, are home to brown recluse spiders.

There, you can find them in the wild and in homes, having become more human-adapted than most spider species.

Most bites from this species occur when the spider is handled roughly, such as when it is pushed, squeezed, or trodden on.

This is illustrated by the fact that sitting on a spider will cause it to bite. Their venom is deadly to insects and some small vertebrates, although it rarely poses a threat to humans.

Venom can lead to a lesion as well as other symptoms like swelling, redness, and itching. However, in most cases, seeking medical attention is unnecessary (though certainly not harmful).

Extreme reactions to bug bites are rare but have been recorded; they typically affect young children, the chronically ill, the elderly, and those who are allergic to insects.

That’s why it’s critical to get medical attention after a brown recluse bite. These nocturnal predators serve a valuable purpose, and you may go years without stumbling onto them or getting bitten.

Brown recluse spiders are advantageous since they prey on mosquitoes and flies rather than humans. Due to their great hardiness, these insects can go without sustenance for up to six months.


What Do Brown Recluse Spiders Eat?

The brown recluse spiders are into 2 different categories of hunters. The active hunters jump on prey once seen and the passive hunters wait for prey to come close before initiating an attack.

The brown recluse spiders feed generally on insects, small reptiles, and even spiders. Birds, larger insects (including spiders and the praying mantis), lizards, and snakes commonly eat spiders.



Comparing both spiders, wolf spiders vs brown recluse spiders. Both spiders are similar in appearance but they have some key differences you should note.

When carrying out pest elimination processes on spiders, being able to identify the exact spider you’re dealing with helps in an effective elimination process.

Reading this blog post to this point, we believe you must have gone through these differences. Do hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions.

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