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Chilean recluse spider

Scientific Name
Loxosceles laeta
Scientific Author
(Nicolet, 1849)
(Arachnida: Araneae: Sicariidae)
Exotic species - absent from Australia

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Diagnostic Notes
This spider is considered to be the most dangerous of the recluse spiders, and its bite is known to frequently result in severe systemic reactions, including death.

The Chilean recluse is one of the larger species of recluse spiders, generally ranging from 8–40 mm in size (including legs). Like most recluses, it is light brown and usually has markings on the dorsal side of its cephalothorax, with a black line coming from it that looks like a violin with the neck of the violin pointing to the rear of the spider resulting in the nickname "fiddleback spider" or "violin spider". Colouring varies from light tan to brown and the violin marking may not be visible. Since the "violin pattern" is not diagnostic to any particular species, only an arachnology expert can correctly determine the species.

The Chilean recluse spider is native to South America (it is common in Chile, and can be found throughout South America), and can now be found in North and Central America.

Occurrence of Loxosceles in Australia. Taken from:

Australasian Arachnological Society website:

The facts on fiddleback-hobo spiders (Loxosceles spp.) in Australia by Julianne Waldock, Western Australian Museum.

For URL: See weblinks.

"In 1974 Mike Gray (Australian Museum) reported the discovery of L. rufescens in Adelaide (specimens of L. rufescens had been in the South Australian Museum collection for more than 40 years) and L. rufipes in Sydney (based on only 3 specimens). The specimens from Sydney were subsequently identified as L. laeta (Harvey, 1996). No further specimens of L. rufipes/L. laeta have been found in Australia (Sutherland, 1983). In 1996 Mark Harvey reported the discovery of a single specimen of L. rufescens in the collection of the Western Australian Museum. This specimen had recently been donated to the collection and was originally collected in Nedlands "amongst packing boxes from Singapore" in 1957. No other specimens of Loxosceles have been recorded in New South Wales or Western Australia and no bites by these spiders have been recorded in Australia."
More Information
Specimen Contact
Museum Victoria
Ken Walker
24/08/2011 09:16 AEST
Last Updated
25/08/2011 15:49 AEST
Ken Walker (2011) Chilean recluse spider (Loxosceles laeta) Updated on 8/25/2011 3:49:49 PM Available online: PaDIL -
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Free for use under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia License