Just Another Nature Enthusiast

JANE’s Images & Thoughts 🌲 Inspired by the Pacific Northwest & places I wander

I’m Not the Big, Bad Wolf Spider 🕷

I’m Not the Big, Bad Wolf Spider 🕷

See that little white egg? It caught my attention while gardening, and led to a new appreciation for… SPIDERS🕷

Specifically, for a species known as- Wolf Spider Hogna aspersa.

Although this spider looks scary…

I’ve learned that none of the members of the Wolf Spider species are dangerous to humans. In fact, Wolf spiders play an important role in natural population control of insects and are often considered “beneficial bugs” due to their predation of agricultural and garden pest species.

When Wolf Spiders are encountered inside your home… chances are it entered to escape extreme temperatures outside, or because it tracked an insect. When in dwellings, Wolf Spiders move about at floor level by crawling along walls or under furniture. Aha- so that’s how my dog catches them!

Crying “Wolf,” when it comes to these spiders isn’t all that specific. There are 100 genera and over 2300 species of wolf spiders worldwide… 238 in the United States.

The many genera of wolf spiders range in body size (legs not included) from less than 10 to 35 mm (0.4 to 1.38 in).

I encountered the wolves in these photos while gardening… they measured on the long end of the scale!

Unlike most other arachnids, which are generally blind or have poor vision, wolf spiders have excellent eyesight. Their exceptional vision allows them to spy prey and successfully pursue it. They have eight eyes arranged in three rows. The bottom row consists of four small eyes, the middle row has two very large eyes, and the top row has two medium-sized eyes.

Wolf Spiders hunt at night. They spend the daytime hiding in a burrow under stones, logs, or other undisturbed places.They are such excellent hunters they don’t need to build webs to snag a meal… they often ambush and pounce on a meal that can range from crickets, grasshoppers, beetles, ants, and even to other spiders.

Unlike their four-legged namesakes, wolf spiders do not hunt in packs. They are solitary creatures.

Wolf spiders are unique in the way that they carry their eggs. The egg sac, a round, silken globe, is attached to the spinnerets at the end of the abdomen, allowing the spider to carry her unhatched young with her. The abdomen must be held in a raised position to keep the egg case from dragging on the ground. Despite this challenge, they are still capable of hunting.

Another aspect unique to wolf spiders is their method of care of young.

Immediately after the spiderlings emerge from their protective silken case, they clamber up their mother’s legs and crowd onto the dorsal side of her abdomen. The mother carries the spiderlings for several weeks before they are large enough to disperse and fend for themselves. No other spiders are currently known to carry their young on their backs for any period of time.

(Spiderling Photograph by: Paul M. Kaczmarczik)


Resources and further reading-

Does a Wolf Spider Bite?

Wikipedia- Wolf Spider

Wolf Spider- Friend or Foe

Wolf Spider Bites

Curious by nature?

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