Let us enjoy the most amazing wolf spider facts including wolf spider diet, habitat, reproduction, and its hunting behavior. Wolf spider belongs to the family of Lycosidae.
These spiders are agile hunters and they tend to camouflage themselves against any threats. Thanks to their fancy patterns and body-color with the help of which wolf spiders can blend themselves with the background. They have great eyesight and are generally solitary hunters.
Some species are opportunistic hunters as they often chase their prey in short bursts. However, other spiders are sit-and-wait hunters as they wait for passing prey near the mouth of a burrow. Wolf spider seems like a nursery web spider.
They are recognized by their large noticeable eyes which also separates them from nursery web spiders. The adult Carolina wolf spider reaches a length of 1.3 inches (3.5 cm). More than three thousand different types of wolf spiders exist today. Around 125 wolf spiders species are living in the North America; while in Europe there are 50 species.
Wolf Spider Facts
- The length of the wolf spider measures around 1 – 30 mm (0.04 – 1.18 inches).
- They have large obvious eyes. They possess excellent eyesight.
- One can easily locate wolf spiders at night because their eyes reflect light very well. They have eight eyes but the two are much larger and prominent.
- Unlike other spider species, wolf spiders carry their eggs.
- The color of the wolf spider camouflages them against their enemies. Other spiders, however, have a flashy appearance.
- Wolf spiders can bite out of their defense; South American species are even more dangerous when they bite as their bite can have serious medical consequences. Nevertheless, wolf spiders are promising to some species as they eat undesirable arachnids.
- They are also known to inoculate venom when disturbed. Some of the most common symptoms are itching, swelling, and mild pain.
- Except few, most adult wolf spiders have eight legs.
- They are known to work tenaciously at being parents.
- Wolf spiders for the most part of their lives engage in hunting and producing babies.
- They are ambush hunters.
- Wolf spiders cannot move their eyes like humans do. They have to change their body posture to see what they want to see.
- Wolf spiders are territorial species and their habitat differs from scrub to woodlands.
- The weight of wolf spiders is unknown.
- They are dark brown to drab grey in color with females have special hair on their back.
- Wolf spiders do not spin webs. They are known to run very fast. Wolf spiders usually hunt at night.
- Wolf spiders often fall predation to snakes, dogs, and cats.
- One of the promising features of wolf spiders is their eyes; two large pairs facing forward while two others facing sideways, accompanied by the four smaller eyes.
- Wolf spiders are virtually known for their keen eyesight and they display courtship through visual signals.
- The average lifespan of a wolf spider is one season and it seldom exceeds 18 months.
- They are one of the fastest runners among spider’s family, covering up to 2 feet per second. They employ this much speed while chasing prey.
- They are speedy-greedy hunters. Like many other house spiders, wolf spiders have a top-notch speed of two feet (0.6 meter) per second—which is considered as highly fast for an animal just a few inches in length.
- They cannot move their eyes or perhaps they don’t need to as they can see in four directions at one time.
- Wolf spiders communicate with each other through smell, touch, and sight. Some species also communicate through sounds. Their purring beat can be heard up to 20 feet (6.1 meters) away. However, the sound lasts less than a second. Several species often rub their feet together to produce sounds.
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Where Do Wolf Spiders Live | Wolf Spiders Habitat
Wolf spiders inhabit an extensive range of inland and coastal habitats. They are often found to live in alpine meadows, suburban gardens, shrub-lands, woodland, and wet coastal forest. The young spiders are spread randomly which is why wolf spiders occupy a wide range of habitats. However, some species are nomads.
There are some that build burrows which are left open. They often live in cotton fields, buildings, wooded areas, under rocks, rubbish, holes, on low foliage in these regions. Some species live in sand dunes while many inhabit depths of the South American rainforests.
Wolf spiders are also found on the slopes of tall mountains, barren landscapes and the sulphur-filled caters of active volcanoes. Some lives in caves as well as in lava tubes in Hawaii. They occupy almost every habitat on earth except the deep ocean and Antarctica.
Wolf spiders found in northward to Nebraska, and east to Central Texas and Oklahoma. Some species often lives as far south as Florida and as far east as Maine.
What Do Wolf Spiders Eat | Wolf Spider Facts
Wolf spiders primarily feed on insects and invertebrates especially the small ones. They also consume crickets, grasshoppers, ants, and even other spiders. They do not eat solid materials the prey is taken in the liquid form. They are carnivores as they’re often found chasing their prey instead of making a silken snare like many other spiders. They are known to carry their prey of many desert termites.
Reproduction | Wolf Spider Facts
The diameter size of an egg sac ranges from 7 – 10 mm and it can accommodate 168 – 365 eggs. The maximum lifespan of wolf spiders is 2 years. The hatching period usually comes in June or July.
Wolflike in Many Ways | Wolf Spider Facts
Wolf spiders are generally seen wandering at night under overcast conditions. However, sometimes they may be observed running over the dead leaves during the day. Wolf spiders typically shelter in soft soil in burrows. The lycosid wolf spiders predominantly rely on insects for their daily consumption; the Pisaurid wolf spiders inhabit wetlands often feeds on tadpoles and fish fry.
Top 2 Wolf Spider’s Predators | Wolf Spider Facts
The wolf spider blends its drab color with its surroundings and mainly come out of the burrows at night which is why they do not have many natural predators. However, the two most significant wolf spider’s hunters are mantis fly and hunting wasps. The former feeds on the wolf spiders’ eggs when they’re in sac while the latter paralyzes the spider and use them to feed their larvae. The wasps generally take low flight just above the ground while in hunting mood. When the wasp approaches the spider’s burrow it begins to dig.