If you were to take a guess, how many different types of spiders would you say there are in the world? If you guessed any lower than 20,000; you weren’t even close.
There about 40,000 of them. So it isn’t surprising that there are about 2,300 species of spiders that fall into the family of spiders known as wolf spiders, or Lycosidae.
The Wolf Spiders are very agile and they move quickly. They are active and they seem muscular. Like all Spiders, they tend to do well living around. Their name comes from the fact that their face does look wolf-like when you view it up close.
They can be distinguished by the following characteristics:
Wolf spiders are adaptable to various habitats and can be found virtually anywhere there are insects for them to eat.
This particular species of Spider has 8 eyes.
They have a very good sense of touch that allows them to work all of their senses together. The colors vary often depending on which part of the habitat that they happen to be living in.
They will blend into their surroundings as a camouflage. The Wolf Spider lives in many regions around the world, with the largest ones being in the Southeastern US.
They are often found living in pastures and fields. They have a very important role there as it helps to keep the population of insects under control. You will find them living inland as well as around the coasts. They are also found in suburban areas. There really isn’t a place where they won’t live through as long as they can get food.
Fast runners with keen eyesight, wolf spiders locate their victims and pounce on them, biting with their powerful jaws. Wolf spiders primarily eat small insects, including crickets, grasshoppers, earwigs, ants, and flies.
Wolf spiders will sometimes burrow in the ground. In colder weather, they seek warmer habitats and sometimes enter homes, where they are found in windows, doors, garages and basements. They are widespread throughout the United States.
It isn’t uncommon for them to dig deep burrows where they will spend lots of time. They are very intelligent and may put a trap door on that burrow. This can be a very clever way to trap prey. They use pebbles to block holes too so that they don’t get any rain in their burrow.
You will have to look hard for them to find them. When the temperatures turn colder though more of them seem to be found around homes and garages. They have been seen chasing prey for short distances. Wolf Spiders will also pounce on it from a location where they have been patiently waiting for something to come along.
They have a flexible abdomen, so they can eat lots of food when they have the opportunity. However, they can also slow down their metabolism when food is in short supply.
The males are attracted to the females due to her scent. She may accept such advances, or she may make him go away.
They may dance or do other rituals to be able to get her to calm down. The females will carry the egg sacks with them. They attach them to the spinerettes. This is a very unique trait. It looks like a very shiny white silky area at the end of her body.
When the young are born they are able to catch a ride on the back of their mother. This helps them to remain hidden from potential predators. If it is very windy the young will be blown off. This can contribute to them having such a wide distribution.
Although non-aggressive, a wolf spider will bite when threatened. Their bite is venomous but, fortunately, not lethal. A wolf spider’s bite symptoms commonly include swelling, mild pain, and itching.
In some locations though it is necessary for medication to be given. The area may swell up and become itchy which is a sign that medical attention is needed. However, they are considered to be of very little threat to the human population, but if the bite is not treated, can result in necrosis.
First aid and medical attention should be sought as soon as possible, particularly for children or the elderly.
Relatively large in size and menacing in appearance, wolf spiders incite fear and loathing in many. Given their name because they stalk and hunt their prey as wolves do, wolf spiders are fast-moving ground hunters. They have excellent vision, though they cannot move their eyes as humans do; they have to change their body position to stalk their prey.
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