A Sad Time - Some of you are aware that my Father-in-law has been fighting cancer. I want to let everyone know that on February 17th, he passed away. I want to thank all of you who have prayed for him, as well as those of you who donated to them. Wally will always be loved and we will miss him very much.

Please scroll down to reach the current Article for this page.


Spiders verified to be here in Michigan are listed on the left sidebar. On the right sidebar, are the spiders of which pictures have been sent in to me.

MICHIGAN SPIDERS - The BOOK

Michigan Spiders (Ebook version) is available at Smashwords for only $3.99 and at least at this time, is more complete than this site. It has more spiders and shows pictures for more species of spiders.

Once it becomes available at other stores (including the printed version at Amazon) I will update this posting.

NOT IN MICHIGAN? Thats okay! If you have a spider you want identified, and you are not from Michigan, or even America, please send the picture to me through my new (still in progress) site's email. Visit the Spider Guide for information.
VERY IMPORTANT
Contrary to what most people believe, the Brown Recluse is NOT indigenous to Michigan. However, if you have reason to believe you have found one, DO NOT discard it alive or dead! I can only uncover about 4 confirmed sightings ever in Michigan. A sighting cannot be confirmed without positive identification and this will take more than just a picture. Whether you catch it alive or kill it, please take pictures and send them to me. If I agree it is the Recluse, I will help you have it identified professionally. You can find the email where to send it, below.

**NOTE**

I am NOT an expert. It is of utmost importance to me that all Spider information listed in Michigan Spiders, is true and accurate. If I have any information on Michigan Spiders wrong, or you do not wish me to use a pic or info that you sent to me, please email me and let me know. More will be added as I find time to do so. Thanks for visiting Michigan Spiders.

Spider Questions and IDENTIFICATION Requests
If you have any questions or have a picture of a spider you would like me to identify, please feel free to email me. Please attach the picture of the spider to the email as a JPEG or a BMP. I would prefer you did not paste the picture in the body of the email unless there is no other way.
EMAIL ME at MichiganSpiders@hotmail.com

NOTE -- Any pictures sent to me for identification (or any other reason) may be used in this site. I would ask you to please include your first name and the city you found the spider. (I will only use the first name). IF, you do not wish me to use either the picture, first name, or city, please let me know!

Describing your Spider

Photographing your Spider


Your Fear of Spiders


Dealing with Spiders in your Home

Please keep in mind that I am a very busy person. Between my family, my job, my books, and Michigan Spiders, there is often not enough time in the day. The lack of free time makes it very difficult for me to put any real time into updating this site, and I am sorry for that. I do try to keep up with emails during the warm months, but please be patient if you do not hear back from me within a day or two.

FOR YOUR ENTERTAINMENT
.....

Beyond Spider Dome
A clear plastic dome (well it is more of a cylinder really), where two spiders are released to face each other in a fight to the death.

Spiders and Drugs
Documentary video about the effects different drugs have on spiders.

Play with a computer spider (Flash)


For a little better understanding of the body parts of the Spider, please refer to our Spider Diagram.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Michigan Spiders - New Look

Well i hope you like the new banner and logo for Michigan Spiders. When Karri Klawiter bought Michigan Spiders, the Ebook, she noticed right away that the cover could be so much better. Being a Graphic Artist, and a very good one in my personal opinion, she emailed me and offered to create me a new book cover image for Michigan Spiders free of charge. Simply because she loves spiders, appreciated the book and site and most of all, she has a heart of gold.

Well she sent me the new cover image, which I am extremely happy with, and to my surprise, she also sent me a Banner image for the site as well as a few others I will display in the future.

Here is the new cover for Michigan Spiders the Ebook....

Michigan Spiders Art by: Karri Klawiter

I have re-submitted the Ebook with the new cover image and it is now available.

If you are interested in seeing more of Karri's work, visit her site at http://artbykarri.com/

Oh yeah, if you are interested in buying Michigan SPiders, the Ebook, you can find it as well as my novels at the following places....

Smashwords

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Amazon .... At this time, Michigan Spiders is NOT available at Amazon. I am working on that. However, you can still find my other books there.


Please feel free to leave a comment with your opinion of the new image.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Brown Recluse Identified

The spiders found by Sabrina Gazzarato in her Livonia home have been positively identified as the Brown Recluse (Loxosceles Reclusa).

Michigan Spiders - Brown recluse - Loxosceles Reclusus


When Rod Crawford (Curator of Arachnids at Burke Museum) received the specimens sent to him, he was in for a little surprise. Expecting the spiders to be the Mediterranean Recluse, when he dissected them, he found them to be L.reclusa, the real Brown Recluse. When he spoke to his friend, Rick Vetters, who happens to be a Brown Recluse expert, Vetters said it is not the first time a building in Michigan has been found to have the Brown Recluse, but the amount of times it has happened can be counted on one hand. That is how rare of an occurance this is.

Mr. Crawford had given Sabrina the name of an exterminating company based here in Michigan and with the backing of such qualified professionals as Mr. Crawford and Mr. Vetters, Sabrina was taken seriously. They showed up to her house with an entomologist, looked around, searched the crawl space and left with a few more specimens. She told me from the things they said, she felt good about it all, but she mentioned that even they seemed a little excited over the ordeal.

When Sabrina asked Mr. Crawford how old he thought the spiders were, he said he would estimate them around 1.5 to 1.7 years old. Since she moved into her home a year and a half ago, it seems highly unlikely that she brought the Recluse home from one of her trips. The only explanation I have at this time, as to how it happened to come to Michigan, is that the people who lived in her home before her, must have brought them in. Maybe they never knew they had any, or maybe it is the reason they moved out. We will likely never know. But I would like to make it clear at this ppoint, that the Brown recluse is not indigenous to Michigan, and this extremely rare occurrence is nothing more than just that. A rare occurrence.

It was a wild ride these spiders took us on in the recent weeks. A ride I am sure Sabrina and her husband and kids did not always enjoy very much. A ride I am equally as sure they will enjoy telling in years to come. A lot of people in Michigan will try to say they have had Brown Recluse Spiders in their homes, but a vast majority of them have no idea what a Brown recluse really looks like. Sabrina will join a very exclusive club as someone who actually did have them.

The Michigan DNR mentions one case of a confirmed sighting of the Brown Recluse. MSU's entomology department has articles stating three different cases. Assuming they were totally different cases, that is only four confirmed sightings ever in Michigan that I have uncovered. Now there are five, and I cannot help but to feel some satisfaction in knowing I was a small part of it.

I cannot put to words how much I appreciated the help and/or just the plain kindness in such individuals like, Rod Crawford and Mike Draney while communicating with them. Most of all however, I was impressed with Sabrina Gazzarato. It must have been very distressing to go through this, especially with children, and yet she has been nothing less than a joy to communicate with. I know she was feeling some panic at times, but she has kept a very good sense of humor through it as well as a kindness in sending a live Recluse to me, and I truly hope the extermination and cleaning up after it all, goes quick and painless for her.

I know she will not agree with this, but I am almost sad to see it all come to a conclusion. It has been a pleasure on my end of things to do what little I could, and this has been without a doubt, the most exciting experience I have had through Michigan Spiders.

As the conclusion of this story comes to an end, if and when there are any updates, I will make them.



Sunday, June 23, 2013

Possible Brown Recluse Sighting

I have only uncovered 4 confirmed sightings of the Brown Recluse, ever in Michigan. This may be the fifth!


There has been a debate at times on Michigan Spiders on whether the Brown Recluse is indigenous to Michigan or not. I challenged the readers to show me evidence of the Recluse being in Michigan. In almost four years of running Mchigan Spiders, I have been sent countless emails with pictures of spiders that the sender was wondering if it was a Brown Recluse. Never once was I able to say anything other than "No".

Until recently.

Sabrina of Livonia Michigan sent me a picture of a spider she thought was a Brown Recluse. I opened the first picture and thought it was the right shape, there simply was not enough detail to say it was. I opened the second picture and there in front of me was a Recluse.

For the first time, I was sent a picture of a spider that I actually thought was a Recluse. However, there was a question if it was a Brown Recluse, a Mediterranean Recluse, or one of a half dozen other relatives. None of which are supposed to be indigenous to Michigan, so this brought other questions to mind. How did it get here? was at the top of the list.

Unfortunately, she had flushed the remains of the dead spider away and we could not get it officially identified. In our communications, we came to this conclusion....

The morning of the day she found the spider, she had returned form California on a red-eye flight. In bringing in the luggage, she had realized a bottle of Coconut oil had broken open in her suitcase, so they opened it up and left it in the hallway to air out while the family went out for a while. Supposedly, a mixture of Coconut oil and White vinegar is a deterrent for spiders, so we figured the scent flushed the recluse, which she unknowingly brought back, out of her suitcase and that was why she found it in the next room on the wall.

It was a perfectly sensible story and everything added up. So we thought! Until she found another in her basement and another in the hall and another on the deck, and another in the basement. Bringing back one recluse by accident, I could accept as sensible. Bringing back a virtual colony of adult spiders? Not so logical.

Sabrina, however, happens to be a wise woman and learned from her mistake. The spiders she found, she caught alive (though one died shortly after) and I was able to get the addresses of two experts in the field for her to send them to, in order to get them officially identified. One should have received the spiders he was sent by now, and the other is out of the country and she is waiting to send him his.

The one who has the specimens now, has received several pictures from her and his thoughts were that it would be the Loxosceles Rufescens (Mediterranean Recluse) rather than the Loxosceles Reclusa (Brown Recluse) because of its size and eye pattern, but could not say until he got the spider and examined it closely. We have yet to get word of his identification.

After she caught her fifth spider recently, Sabrina was kind enough to send this last one to me. She is such a sweet woman :o) For I have never seen one before and to have a live one is so cool!

I went on-line and started looking up the differences of the Refuscens and Reclusa and let me tell you, there is very little on this subject. Since examining the genitalia or dissecting them is far beyond my abilities, I can only go by descriptions. I did find a PDF file however that showed pictures of the two side by side and pointed out the differences. And I have to say, in almost every difference I was capable of examining, the spider she sent me matched the Brown Recluse, and not the Mediterranean. But I am not an expert and will await the identifications from the real experts before stating what it is as a positive ID.  Until then however, here is the pictures from the PDF file.....













(a) Brown Recluse  (L.reclusa) ...................(b) Mediterranean Recluse (L.refuscens)

Now here are the pictures I took of Jodi. (I named mine Jodi, after Jodi Arias, because she is one dangerous female to have on the loose.)

Both of these are the same spider from two different angles.  Notice how they  match picture (a) much closer than picture (b)....

1) The violin shape looks more like two parts that are held together with stripes.

2) The outside of the fangs seem to match close to the outside of the violin shape, where as the Refuscens fangs need to curve far out to meet the bottom of the violin.

3) The fiddle is much more defined in the Reclusa than it is in the Refuscens.

4) There is far less hair on the Brown Recluse.

The only place where it seems to match the Refuscens more, is in the pedipalps. The Reclusa has no hair on the palps and the Refuscens does. And so does Jodi.

So right now, I am a little more inclined to believe we have the Brown Recluse and not the Mediterranean Recluse. That does not mean I am right and it does not mean it cant be another species of Loxosceles all together.

So again... How did it get here then, if it did not come from California? I will answer that in my next post, when I reveal the identification by the expert.