Loxoceles (Brown Recluse)

Reference: Swanson DL, Vetter RS. Bites of brown recluse spiders and suspected necrotic arachnidism . N Engl J Med 2005;352:700-7.

Highlight: This review describes the epidemiology of Loxosceles spiders. It also provides a discussion of the frequency and types of misdiagnosis of acute arachnidism in areas where the Loxosceles spider does not reside.

Reference: Vetter RS. Arachnids submitted as suspected brown recluse spiders (Araneae: Sicariidae): Loxosceles spiders are virtually restricted to their known distributions but are perceived to exist throughout the United States. J Med Entomol 2005;42:512-21.

Highlight: Richard Vetter is in the Department of Entomology at University of California, Riverside. He made an internet offer to identify any spider that was thought to be a brown recluse spider in the United States. A total of 1773 arachnids were submitted from 49 states. Of these, only 324 were actually brown recluse spiders. These spiders were submitted from areas of the United States known to have endemic brown recluse spiders. In the end, brown recluse spiders have limited ability to disperse beyond their usual boundaries.  

Reference: Furbeee RB, Kao LW, Ibrahim D. Brown recluse spider envenomation. Clin Lab Med 2006;26: 211-26.

Highlight: This article has a summary discussion on the mechanism of the loxosceles venom. It also includes a table of the case reports of brown recluse spider envenomation’s. Interesting that 92% percent of these cases had no confirmation of a brown recluse spider.