Wolf Spiders … What you Should Know

Wolf Spiders … What you Should Know
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Identification:

Wolf spiders range from about 1/2 inch to 2 inches in length, hairy, and are typically brown to gray in color with various markings or lines. Wolf spider mothers carry their large egg sacs around with them. When the young spiderlings hatch they climb onto their mother’s back and ride around until partially grown. Wolf spiders are not poisonous, though as with all spiders, bites may cause reactions in certain individuals.




Behavior:

Studies have shown that male and female wolf spiders are far more likely to intermingle in the wild than in captivity. Furthermore, young female specimens commonly mate with older males. A male wolf spider utilizes the base of its palp to create courtship sounds. This palp also contains sensory hairs that help the male recognize female pheromones. Further studies on wolf spiders reveal that males are sometimes killed and consumed by females following mating. However, female wolf spiders prefer to mate with and are less likely to kill familiar wolf spiders.

Wolf spiders exhibit unique parental care behaviors. Unlike other species, female wolf spiders carry their egg sacs on their spinnerets. When eggs hatch, the immature spiders remain with the female for approximately one month before dispersing through a process known as ballooning.

Wolf Spider with her young

Habitat:

Common household pest in the fall when they are looking for a warm place to overwinter. They are commonly found around doors, windows, house plants, basements, garages, and in almost all terrestrial habitats. They do not spin a web but roam at night to hunt for food. Wolf spiders are often confused with the brown recluse, but they lack the unmistakable violin-shaped marking behind the head. The wolf spider is shy and seeks to run away when disturbed.


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