Wolf Spider

Wolf Spider, Rabidosa rabida 

Wolf Spider

Wolf Spider

The wolf spider is very common in the U.S., in fact, scientists have identified more than 125 species of wolf spider in the U.S. alone. Although many fear the wolf spider, in part, because of its large size, its bite is not truly deadly. However, some considered this spider to be one of the Top 10 Dangerous Spiders in the world.

Wolf Spider Identification

The wolf spider is 1/2 inch to 2 inches long, and hairy with orangeish-brown to grey and black camouflage coloring, with splotches or stripes of color.
Its eight eyes are arranged in three rows of three different sizes, with 2 medium-sized eyes on top of its “head,” 2 large eyes center front, and four small eyes below those.
Like all spiders, it has eight legs. But the wolf spider also has an additional two tiny leg- or arm-like appendages (pedipalps) extending out front.

The young of this species look much the same as the adults, although the coloring may vary or change as they grow.
Mothers may sometimes be seen with the young riding on their backs until these spiders are independent enough to go off on their own.
Where the Wolf Spider is Found

Wolf spiders may live just about anywhere that insects can be found on which to feed.
They are most likely to be found on the ground in open areas, such as farm fields and grassy areas or harboring in ground tunnels, between firewood, under leaf litter or other ground clutter.
In some areas, it can be a very common pest in the fall when it is seeking shelter.
In the home, they are most likely to be found around doors, windows, house plants, basements, and garages.
What the Wolf Spider Does

This spider may also be called the ground spider or the hunting spider … primarily because it does just that: hunts on the ground.
In fact, the wolf spider does not build webs to capture its prey, but goes out at night to hunt it down.
It can climb and swim, but rarely does unless hunting prey.
When disturbed, this spider will retreat and can move very quickly.
Because it does not build webs, the female wolf spider will keep its eggs with it or bury it in its tunnel.
Despite its name, the wolf spider does not live in packs. Rather it is a solitary creature, preferring to live and hunt alone.