Fiddleback Spider

Fiddleback spider is another name for one of the most venomous spider in the world. Learn which poisonous spider it is, why it got called the fiddleback spider, and what the symptoms are of a fiddleback spider bite.

Fiddleback spider is another name for the brown recluse spider. The recluse spider was named as such because of the markings on the dorsal side of its cephalothorax. The markings also include a black line that looks like a violin with a neck that points to the rear of the spider. Because of this resemblance to a violin, the brown recluse spider is also known as the “violin spider”.


The fiddleback spider (also known as the brown recluse spider and the violin spider) grows to between 6 and 20 mm, but some even exceed 20 mm. It is colored light to medium brown and sometimes ranges from cream colored to dark brown and even blackish gray. However, its abdomen and cephalothorax may not have the same color.

An adult fiddleback spider can live up to two years with each female capable of producing eggs over a period of two to three months, particularly from May to July. The resiliency of a fiddleback spider is high and can survive up to six months without eating.


Male fiddleback spiders are usually the hunters looking for insects for preys at night while females usually stay near their webs.


A fiddleback spider can build irregular webs which serves as their shelter. The webs can be seen in woodpiles, sheds, garages, closets, cellars and other places that are dry are those which are undisturbed. Outside, they can find shelter under piles of rocks and dry leaves.

Those living in human residences prefer hiding in an area with cardboard since it is similar to their natural habitat. They can also be seen in shoes, in bed sheets of beds not often used and also inside dressers including stacked clothing, behind pictures and within working gloves. The brown recluse bites when its dwelling area is disturbed or when it is threatened.

Food and Hunting

Fiddleback spiders are nocturnal and prey on silverfish, crickets and other small insects.

Fiddleback Spider Bite Symptoms

The bite of the fiddleback spider may not initially feel painful, but it can be serious. The bite discharges a potentially deadly hemotoxic venom but most bites are minor without necrosis.

Some bites may result in severe dermonecrotic lesions but rarely does the bite of the brown recluse generate severe cutaneous skin or systemic symptoms.

The systemic symptoms from a fiddleback spider bite may include vomiting, fever, rashes, nausea, and muscle and joint pain. Cutaneous symptoms are more frequent than systemic symptoms.

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