Their name originates from an ancient Greek word that means “wolf”--they are part of the Lycosidae family. Wolf spiders have superior vision, they are agile and robust hunters. Indifferent to other spiders, wolf spiders don’t spin a web, they live reclusive lives and hunt by themselves. When hunting they are opportunistic, using their legs to jump on or chasing their prey.

How Do the Wolf Spider Carry Their Egg Sacs

Like the Pisauridae family of nursery web spiders, wolf spiders spin webs to form an egg sac for their eggs. However, indifferent to other spider species, such as the Brown Recluse spider, the wolf spider attaches the egg sac to spinnerets and carries it. The Pisauridae uses their pedipalps and chelicerae to carry the egg sacs.

How Do the Wolf Spider Carry Their Egg Sacs

How the Female Cares for the Egg Sac

After finishing mating, the female wolf spider carries her eggs in a unique manner. She spins a circular, silky orb and connects it to the spinnerets located at the abdomen’s end. This permits her to carry the unhatched spiderlings wherever she goes.  In order to keep the egg case from being dragged, she must secure her abdomen in a heightened stance. Although at a disadvantage in this position, the female is still an agile hunter.

Maternal Instincts of the Female Wolf Spider

The unique way the female wolf spider cares for her eggs doesn’t stop once the spiderlings hatch. Promptly after hatching from the silky webs, they scale up the legs of their mother, jamming her abdomen’s dorsal area.  They remain in this position for many weeks until they are big enough to take care of themselves. No other types of spider have this maternal instinct to allow their young to ride on their back.

Special Characteristics of the Wolf Spider

The wolf spider has two of its eight eyes that are more prominent and bigger than the other eyes. This is another distinguishing characteristic that makes them different from nursery web spiders, who have all equally sized eyes.  This characteristic helps to tell them apart from other similar species, the grass spider.

How Would You Describe a Wolf Spider?

A wolf spider is not an insect they are an arachnid. They are hairy and their body can range as large as 35 millimeters long. The color of this spider most commonly has recurrent shades of black, brown, and gray. They have eight eyes arranged in a row. Their legs are brown and hairy and they have a scary appearance. Their eyes are arranged in a row of four small eyes, the two large eyes and two small eyes all in a row on the top of the spider's head.

Wolf spider

Why Camouflage is Important for a Wolf Spider

Wolf spiders are dependent on their camouflage in order to protect themselves from predators. Unlike other species, their appearance is not flashy. The brown coloring of their body coincides with the habitats they live in. The dark color of their body camouflages them when they hunt in the trees at night.

What is the Largest Genus of Wolf Spiders in the U.S.?

The Hogna is the biggest genus of wolf spiders in the United States. The H. carolinensis  (also called the Carolina wolf spider) is almost completely dark brown. It is the largest of the Hogna species. This spider grows to over 2.5 centimeters in length--about one inch.

The H. helluo is sometimes confused for the H. carolinensis, it is a little smaller and has differing colors. The belly of the H. carolinensis is completely black, the belly of the H helluo has variegated hues of orange, yellow, and reds with black shades.

Where Do You Find Wolf Spiders?

There are many places these spiders can be found --from inland to the coast. They may be in wooded areas, shrublands, alpine meadows, a wet coastal forest, even gardens and homes in the suburbs.

What is the Habitat of Wolf Spiders?

As spiderlings dislodge from the females it creates a large distribution of wolf spiders. The needs of certain species are microhabitat. The habitat wolf spider prefers to range from the gravel beds of a coastal stream too high in the trees. Yet many wolf spiders prefer to wander the earth at night with no control of their habitat.

Habitat of Wolf Spiders

Other Places they live

H carolinensis is part of the family Lycosidae, they create deep, tubular caves as their habitats. The H. helluo searches for rocks to protect and provide shelter for these animals. Male wolf spiders can be discovered within buildings and homes because they are looking for females.

The wolf spider plays an imperative role in the pest control of insects. Therefore, they are often called “beneficial bugs” because they hunt for and eat the pests to control their population.

How do they build their Homes?

Some habitats wolf spiders live in are the caves they build on the ground. These animals create trap doors or open entrances on the ground (depending on the species).

Spiders in dry climates build steeples or fill holes in the ground with pebbles and leaves. They have even been discovered living in places made by humans, such as outdoor equipment and sheds.

Are Wolf Spiders Poisonous to Humans?

For the average human, without issues with anaphylaxis, the venom of a wolf spider poses no real harm.  It is commonly a misunderstanding about why one of these types of spider bites a human. The wolf spider only bites if provoked or threatened. Its venom is not much more powerful than bees or wasps. When a threat is near, this spider shows its jaws and fangs.

How Many Species of Wolf Spiders are There?

There are around 2300 wolf spider species in the world, and over 100 genera. Of these numbers, 200 species of wolf spiders are found in the United States. South Carolina is the only state with a state spider. It has inducted the Hogna carolinensis or the Carolina wolf spider as their state spider.

Species of Wolf Spiders

Are Wolf Spiders Aggressive?

The wolf spider is not generally aggressive by nature. If they are feeling harassed or in danger, they will respond. They don’t normally bite humans unless they are in a startled state. Many have gotten too near a wolf spider without realizing it and they were bitten. A wolf spider bite leaves behind two fang marks, it gets red, swollen, and painful, but usually isn’t dangerous.

Are Wolf Spiders Harmless?

Due to their size, coupled with a name that sounds fierce, many people fear these spiders. Yet they are harmless for the most part to humans. Wolf spiders are actually rather shy. Similar to spider crickets and stink bugs, the wolf spider only intrudes homes by accident.

What do Wolf Spiders Eat?

Just as the mammal they are named after, wolf spiders are predators. They search for and hunt their prey. Wolf spiders have exceptional eyesight. Using this fine sense to find, search, and eventually capture prey. They first pounce on it, then use their powerful jaws to bite and kill it.  The diet of this spider is generally prey like small insects, this includes ants, insects, grasshoppers, flies, and crickets.

Are Wolf Spiders in the House an Invasion?

Wolf spiders inadvertently encroach on your house. This usually happens as the season transitions from warm to cool temperatures. These spiders, as do other insects and bugs,  seek the warmth of the indoors. Males are also searching for a future mate as cooler weather means mating season. They come in through cracks in windows and doors usually at night.

Are Wolf Spiders Friendly?

These spiders are just as curious about us as we are them. They do not mean any harm to humans and can in fact be quite friendly. Some people catch them and say these spiders are often good pets.  Wolf spiders in your house are actually an excellent way to control the pest population around the yard and home.

Can Wolf Spiders see you?

Human eyes have trichromatic vision; this means we are able to see colors such as blue, green, and red. Although these spiders have excellent eyesight, they can only see ultraviolet and green due to their dichromatic vision.

How Do I Get Rid of Wolf Spiders in House?

How to get rid of wolf spiders in the house

If the wolf spiders in your house are getting out of control. Call A.N.T. Pest Control. We have innovative ways to catch and get rid of these pesky critters that bug you. Give us a call today.

 

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