Brown Spider Identification: Wolf Spider vs Brown Recluse Spider

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These spiders are a common sight around our Tennessee home.

We find them both indoors and outside. This one was photographed in the corner of our dining room.

At first, I was scared it might be a poisonous Brown Recluse spider!

Turns out it’s a Wolf spider, which is a rather common household spider.

See a spider in your house? It might be a happyface spider (…don’t worry, be happy!)

Here’s a spider identification chart to help you see at a glance the type of spider you’re looking at.

How I Found Out It’s A Wolf Spider

According to a FunTimesGuide reader (Neil C.):

This is a type of wood wolf spider, not a brown spider. This type is not poisonous, and actually make good pets. They are a major benefit to out ecology, and we need them… They are the good bugs.

… Thanks, Neil!

Yep, Definitely A Wolf Spider

Kendall Huddleston adds the following:

The image of the brown spider perched in the corner is the most common seen wolf spider. If they are fast, take off across the floor at high speed and have brown and black racing stripes down the length of their body, they are harmless. They stalk and kill their prey with large powerful fangs and practically no poison. They do not produce webs but may run a single strand a distance as a feeling line. They can see extremely well and use sight and stalking as their primary hunting method. They can get very large, the ‘big mommas’ up to five inches and can live a long time, over ten years. They are partial hibernators and are the ones seen running across the snow on sunny winter days. Neil C. is right, they make good pets and will get docile and not try to bite you after you handle them for awhile. I have literally forced thousands of these critters to bite me since I was a kid with no harm other than the powerful pin pricks. But Neil, they are Arachnids, closer relatives to the crayfish, crabs and lobsters. Far distant from ‘bugs’ or insects.

… Thanks, Kendall!

More About Wolf Spiders

More About Brown Recluse Spiders

3 thoughts on “Brown Spider Identification: Wolf Spider vs Brown Recluse Spider”

  1. Last night while on the sofa a big brown spider scurried across the floor under my sofa I totally freaked out I couldn’t sleep for fear that it was a recluse, I kept the light on. It happened so quickly I didn’t get a good look at it. What do I do? I can’t afford to accidentally get bit. Help?

  2. the other night I walked into the bathroom flipped on the light to find this huge brown spider sitting in the middle of the floor I grabbed the plunger and before I could do anything it flew behind the sink, the next morning I found it curled up dead in the tub, but being as I am highly allergic to spiders I am still freaked out by its shear size and the possibility of it being poisonous I live about 7miles from the beach in central Fl. should I be worried


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