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Which ones are Brown Recluses?

All photographs copyright Ken Cramer.  Photos may be used for educational purposes by contacting Dr. Cramer ( for permission and properly acknowledging the source.

Nope.  This is Trachelas.  Note the reddish-brown forelegs and dark, shiny cephalothorax.   No -- this is Herpyllus, the Parson's spider.  Black body with typical white markings, and large, easily visible spinnerets (at back of abdomen).
Yup. This is a brown recluse.  The signature small, dark violin on the cephalothorax is there.  Also the hairless legs and the uniform color elsewhere on the body, and the posture are typical.   Mmmm, nope -- this is a funnel-web spider.  Note the spines and hairs on the legs, the long, noticeably elongate spinnerets, and stripes or other markings on the body as well as the legs.
Sorry.  This is Cheiracanthium.  Pale, yellow or even greenish tint, and black "feet" distinguish this spider.   A common mistake, this very large, fast, and hairy spider is a wolf spider.  Although this specimen has an almost two-inch leg span, others wolf spiders are smaller.  Hairiness, large size, and large visible eyes tell you this is no recluse!
This black beauty is a common jumping spider in our area.  Note the blocky head region and fuzzy body.  They live up to their name with tremendous leaping ability.  They have keen eyesight and will often turn and face a human or any moving object.   This woodlouse spider is often submitted for identification.  The large chelicerae and reddish body and leg color are most noticeable.  A common household spider, it was imported from Europe accidentally and has done quite nicely here, thank you.  Apparently, it likes to eat woodlice (rolly-pollys or pillbugs).
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