How To Differentiate Between Brown Recluse vs Wolf Spider?

brown recluse vs wolf spider

Have you ever mistakenly identified a Wolf Spider as a Brown Recluse? We’re guessing that a Wolf Spider gets mistaken for a Brown Recluse 99 percent of the time. Brown Recluse vs Wolf Spider is the talk you need to pay attention to.

However, there are times when seeking a brown spider in your home might make you feel uneasy. A small bite from the brown recluse spider, which resides in this area, can prove fatal. So how to differentiate between brown recluse vs wolf spider is one the most common question amongst people?

On the other hand, Brown recluses are highly unusual to come across. But are you unsure which species of spider you’ve discovered in your home? You don’t have to be perplexed if you answer yes since this guide will clear up all of your doubts. 

We’ll explain the distinctions between a Wolf Spider and a Brown Recluse in this article since there are a few critical characteristics between the two that can help you distinguish between them two. We believe that a Wolf spider is mistaken for a Brown Recluse spider 99 per cent of the time. This is because these Brown Recluses are not native to this location. Still, they have been introduced (through transportation) to our area due to regular migration from the outside.

So, read the article to the conclusion to thoroughly understand the Wolf Spider vs Brown Recluse debate. The Wolf Spider vs the Poisonous Brown Recluse – One is frequent in Florida’s Panhandle (Wolf Spider, which is larger and scarier). At the same time, the other is only sighted on rare occasions (Brown Recluse, very Poisonous). So, how can you identify the difference between them without getting bitten?

Brown Recluse (Loxosceles reclusa)


These brown recluse spiders are mostly found in the southeastern United States, extending from Texas through Georgia, Tennessee, and as far north as Kentucky. They have a distinct feature that distinguishes them from regular wolf spiders. They are light brown, but the distinctive pattern on the neck – a violin – is the most recognisable feature of a brown recluse. This marking makes it indistinguishable from a wolf spider, and it’s also known as the “fiddle-back” spider.

Brown recluse spiders love to live in dark places, such as within boxes, making them easy to transfer from one site to another, such as carrying boxes from a shed into a house or relocating office supplies to a different location. Their bite is poisonous and has the potential to inflict tissue damage. You mustn’t bother one. Instead, call AAA Termite and Insect Control to remove the pest carefully.

Wolf Spider (Lycosidae)


Wolf spiders may be found throughout the United States. Wolf spiders are greyish brown in appearance, hairy, and fast-moving, with a bar pattern on their stomach. They are fast-moving, agile ground predators, thus the name “wolf.” They do not create webs. Their preferred habitats are burrows and caves under rocks. When you notice wolf spiders, they usually travel from one place to another.

Unlike the brown recluse spider, the wolf spider has no visible markings. They prefer to consume insects, houseflies, and cockroaches, which is another incentive to eliminate these pests. Wolf spiders prefer warmer climates, so they begin to go indoors as autumn approaches. They may be found in garages, basements, and even houseplants.

Wolf spider bites seldom harm humans. However, they can cause skin discomfort. Its bite can cause redness, muscular soreness, swelling, and pain in the lymph nodes. If your symptoms don’t go away, see your doctor.


The Lycosidae family includes wolf spiders. Lykos is Greek for “wolf,” and there are 124 genera in addition to 2888 species. Loxosceles is the Greek word for slanting legs, meaning the brown recluse spider belongs to that genus. There are about 11 species of Loxosceles spiders in the United States.

Body Type (Brown Recluse vs Wolf spider)

Counting the eyes of a brown recluse spider is one technique to identify it. It has six eyes, distinguishing it from the wolf spider and most other spiders. The majority of spiders have eight legs. The brown recluse’s eyes are similar in size and are positioned in pairs on its head. Looking at the eyes of a wolf spider can also be used to identify it. It has a couple of enormous eyes in the center of its face. In a row, there are four below it and two above it. The spider has excellent vision, thanks to these eyes. However, the brown recluse’s eyesight is probably not very perfect. The brown recluse spider’s lengthy legs are also held crabwise, but the wolf spider’s legs are splayed out like most other spiders. Wolf spiders exist in various sizes and color patterns, with over 3000 species. The hues are mainly earth tones, as the spider is a component of many more giant animals’ diets and has to blend in while it hunts for food. The brown recluse bears a violin-shaped mark on its cephalothorax and is light brown. It’s also known as the fiddleback or violin spider because of this. Brown recluse spiders are typically 0.24 to 0.79 inches long, whereas wolf spiders can be anywhere from 0.04 to 1.5 inches long.

Reproduction (Brown Recluse vs Wolf Spider)

Courtship rituals exist in both wolf spiders and brown recluse spiders. The patterns of certain wolf spider species may be rather intricate. Female wolf spiders are the only spiders that carry their egg case in their spinnerets. When the eggs hatch, the kids clamber onto her back and cling to her as she wanders about. Eventually, they disperse by releasing a thread of silk and allowing it to create a parachute that carries them away in the wind. Brown recluse spiders also produce an egg sac, which the mother occasionally has or hangs on her web or a plant. The spiderlings stay in the egg sac until they moult for the first time after hatching. Unlike wolf spiders, they do not migrate from place to place on their mother’s back or balloon.

Behaviour (Brown Recluse vs Wolf Spider)

Brown recluse spiders are shy and reserved, spending the day in a peaceful location before emerging at night to prey. Like most other spiders, their diet consists mainly of insects, including home pests like cockroaches. Poisonous olf spiders may be hostile toward humans, and one species is known as Rabidosa Rabida because of its aggressiveness. While some wolf spiders rest and wait for possible food to approach, others stalk and pounce on them like wolves. Some hunt throughout the day, while others, like the brown recluse, who spend their day resting during and hunt at night.

Which of these spiders lives in North Carolina?

North Carolina is home to both wolf spiders and brown recluse spiders. As its name indicates, the brown recluse prefers to stay hidden during the day and hunt at night. Wolf spiders spend much of their life wandering about, seldom committing to one location.

Although both spiders are common in North Carolina, wolf spiders are more common. Because the wolf spider is a migratory arachnid. You may often find them scurrying around in garages, sheds, and even inside your home.

Do brown recluse spiders tend to kill wolf spiders?

The brown recluse’s diet does not include wolf spiders. Wolf spiders are often more giant than brown recluse spiders. Even though spiders have been known to devour one other, whether conspecifics or members of other species, these two spiders tend to avoid each other.

How do I identify a wolf spider?

If you can get near enough to a wolf spider, you can quickly identify it. They’re usually in neutral hues like brown or grey, and some of them feature stripes. Many of them are enormous for spiders. The most prominent anterior median eyes in a wolf spider’s face are the most reliable identification method. Jumping spiders have large eyes, but they are considerably smaller and have shorter legs. Brown Recluse Spiders have a uniform hue and a faint reverse violin-shaped pattern on their backs, whereas Wolf Spiders are multicolored. The Brown Recluse has no visible hair or fur. The hair/fur of the Wolf spider is highly distinguishable.

Size: The Wolf Spider is about three times the size of the Brown Recluse. Even though it isn’t venomous, it makes this spider look menacing.

Wrap Up

It’s pretty tough to completely eradicate spiders once they’ve infiltrated a home or structure. To help limit the number of spiders, place sticky traps and employ repellents. In addition, to reduce your risks of being bitten, adopt the following precautions:

  • Clear up your yard and basement of debris, and don’t stack wood against the home. This can help eliminate the sorts of habitats that brown recluse spiders like. Clothing should not be left on the ground. 
  • If you do, give it a good shake before putting it on. If you reside where brown recluse spiders are widespread, wear gloves when moving wood and rocks. Brown recluse spiders frequently live in cardboard boxes, so be cautious when removing anything from storage.
  • Before putting your foot in a pair of shoes, inspect the insides.

Keep tools and hand-held outdoor equipment in firmly sealed plastic containers to minimize spider encounters.