I found this spider in my toilet bowl. It was after dark. We live in Prescott Valley, AZ at around 5100' elevation at the edge of a development fairly close to the mountains in grass land.

I'm concerned its an Arizona Recluse (or Desert Recluse). We saw a few of these around the house during the warmer months; this is the first I've seen in a while since its gotten cold, but my wife just did some extra cleaning.

I don't see a violin shape, but this article points out that desert recluse's don't have a noticeable violin. It also looks like it has 3 sets of eyes, but the 4th may just be hidden due to the angle since it looks like the 3 I see in the pics aren't centered quite right. Anyways, if anyone has some insight I would be happy to know. The leg span was a bit bigger than a penny.

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  • $\begingroup$ Hmmm. I had one like this on the bathroom counter. It was huge by comparison, 3 inches leg span, and a dark green fuzzy abdomen. I am in the northern Sonoran Desert. I am trying to find my spider. It ran up the mirror to get away from me. Definitely non-aggressive. $\endgroup$ – MadProf Jul 1 '18 at 19:36

I don't think it's an Arizona recluse. Characteristic of all recluse spiders (including the five varieties found in Arizona):

  • Long thin legs
  • Oval shaped abdomen
  • 6 eyes in dyads (pairs)
  • Uniformly colored abdoment with fine hairs
  • No spines on legs
  • Legs are uniformly colored
  • Light tan to dark brown in color
  • Distinct violin-shaped mark on on the back points to the posterior of the spider (less obvious on Arizona recluses)
  • Body not more that 3/8" in length

Your spider has spiny legs. That, plus the fact that Arizona recluses are even less likely to live where humans do (as your article states), and are attracted to dry places, makes your spider an unlikely candidate, but I could be wrong.

Loxascelidae, Loxosceles reclusa

  • $\begingroup$ That makes me feel a bit better, although it doesn't look like a wolf spider either, because of its more uniform color. So I'd be curious to know if anyone has a positive ID. Maybe Southern House Spider? $\endgroup$ – Ian Jan 12 '16 at 15:34
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    $\begingroup$ @Ian Probably a huntsman, I'd say, based on the eye arrangement. $\endgroup$ – augurar Jan 13 '16 at 5:59
  • $\begingroup$ @augurar - Wouldn't a huntsman have crab shaped front legs? These look vertically jointed. $\endgroup$ – Ian Jan 13 '16 at 18:48
  • $\begingroup$ @Ian Based off of this site and this one a huntsman seems the most likely. You can see the sideways leg orientation is not always obvious, depending on posture. $\endgroup$ – augurar Jan 14 '16 at 3:59
  • $\begingroup$ @augurar, Yeah I guess the first photo on your second link looks similar, especially the eye pattern (assuming the fourth top eye is hidden in my photos). $\endgroup$ – Ian Jan 14 '16 at 17:15

The key for this spider is the set of four 'tailpipe' spinnerets. That's characteristic of the Ground Spiders in the family Gnaphosidae. Recluses don't have that - the bulbous Recluse abdomen has the spinnerets oriented underneath like most spiders. The recurved upper row of similar-sized eyes on this spider is also consistent with that group. Not being familiar with western spiders, I'll just leave it at that.

Ah! I finally realized that I need to add further details in the answer itself! So, for sources, I refer you to Kaston, BJ, 1972 How to Know the Spiders; Cushing and Ubick 2009, Spiders of North America; and Bradley 2012, Common Spiders of North America. An invaluable site is also Bug Guide, from which the following photos come: https://bugguide.net/node/view/1970/bgpage . Note particularly the 4-pipe spinnerets. I'm not suggesting any of these as yours; just that yours is most probably also a Gnaphosid of some kind. Also, I now realize that I can only add 1 photo to this. Well, this will do. Gnaphosid


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