Along Came a Spider
Somehow the subject of spider bites came up at a dinner party recently. My physician friend who works mostly Emergency Rooms these days dismissed someone’s conclusion that a mark on their arm had come from a spider bite–possibly a brown recluse.
“They don’t live around here” he said with some confidence, and I raised an eyebrow.
“You think different? You’re the biologist” and I told him I check it out. To my thinking, the brown recluse was endemic. But that impression had come when I lived in Alabama, and I was wrong.
You can see from the range map that Virginia is out of the usual range (but in SWVa we’re near enough to qualify for “in the margins” of the usual range. So I still might be right.) There’s always the remote possibility of a recluse bite anywhere, as they do travel in furniture, groceries, and other stuff being moved great distances in trucks.
And if you find a suspicious-looking arachnid near your tuffet, check closely for the violin on the top of the cephalothorax. (Black widows have the red hour glass on the underside of the abdomen.) Read more about Brown Recluse and Kin so you will be properly informed at your next dinner party when the topic of spiders and snakes inevitably come up.