Brown Spiders

Equally as menacing as the brown recluse

spiderHere is a follow-up to information presented by Veterinarian Cliff Faver about venomous creatures of the desert at a Desert Awareness Committee class. Of particular interest was the Arizona brown spider, commonly known as the Fiddleback Spider. It is one of several frequently encountered in Arizona that are similar to the true brown recluse spider of the Midwest. Ours is Loxosceles arizonica and is equally as menacing as the brown recluse.

According to Robert L. Smith in “Venomous Animals of Arizona,” this genus can be distinguished from all others by the following characteristics: The body of the adult is about 9 mm long, and the leg span is about 25 mm. Color is tan to brown and there is a distinctive violin-shaped darker marking on the cephalothorax, with the neck of the violin pointed toward the abdomen. There are three pairs of eyes on the base of the violin. These are difficult to see without a hand lens.

Other spiders that might be mistaken for the brown spider have four pairs of eyes rather than three and do not have the violin.

Professor Smith, who is Associate Professor in the Department of Entomology of the University of Arizona, includes the Arizona brown recluse spider on his list of Arizona’s dangerously venomous animals. Its bite can cause severe tissue damage and possible death if not treated by a physician as soon as possible.

SEPTEMBER 28, 2011

Horses rescued from slaughter to receive help, guidance from trainers

CAVE CREEK – Horses that have been abused, neglected and destined for slaughter are frightened and no longer trust people. The Luv Shack Ranch, a non-profit organization, rescues and rehabilitates horses that have suffered nightmare situations. Wild West Days in Cave Creek, which will be held November 3-6, will host a trainers’ challenge during which several Luv Shack horses rescued from slaughter will show what they have learned after working for 90 days with professional trainers. During the trainers’ challenge, spectators will see which horses have made the most progress. The challenge takes places on Sunday, November 6 at TC’s Arena at 1 p.m. At the conclusion of the event and the award of prizes to the top trainers, the horses will be made available for adoption.

In addition to the distinguished Trainers’ Challenge, numerous horse-related events will take place during Wild West Days including:

Saturday, November 5
• Tricks of the Trade presented by top horse trainers Brandi Lyons, Mike Stacy, Paul Dietz and others
• Barrel racing demonstrations

Sunday, November 6

• Horse soccer
• The Horse Clinic and Tricks of the Trade with top area horse trainers
• Team calf dressing competition
• Wildlife exhibit and petting zoo

Scheduled events and activities can be found at
For more information contact: Ken Bacher at 602-317-6176.