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Carolina Wolf Spider (Hogna carolinensis)

Detailing the identifying qualities of the Carolina Wolf Spider, including physical features and territorial reach.

 Updated: 2/14/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©

  Carolina Wolf Spider  
Picture of Carolina-Wolf-Spider
Picture of Carolina-Wolf-Spider Picture of Carolina-Wolf-SpiderPicture of Carolina-Wolf-Spider

The Carolina Wolf Spider is North America's largest wolf spider and it has made every part of the continent its home.

The Carolina Wolf Spider is a skilled hunter, not a trapper like other spiders. It does not wait for prey to get tangled in an intricate web; it seeks out and attacks. Though it is possible to see them in the daytime, Carolina Wolf Spiders are nocturnal and are usually spotted by people at night. Brown and black bodies keep them well camouflaged on forest floors, but they are easier to spot on sandy soil near coastlines. They are comfortable in almost any habitat and sometimes wander indoors looking for insects to eat.

This spider is large, hairy and fast. The head is slightly elevated by the eyes. The cephalothorax has a tan line down the center of it. The sides of the cephalothorax are dark brown or black with a lighter brown border on both edges. The abdomen is shaped like an almond. The top of the abdomen has a dark almond-shaped mark near the waist and a chevron pattern toward the rear. Females are generally darker and larger than males. After mating, a female will dig a hole in the ground that can be almost 200 mm (8") deep. She lines it with spider silk and covers the opening with plant debris. This where her eggs are laid and wrapped in a silken sac. She will carry this egg sac on her back where ever she goes until the spiderlings hatch. It is not unusual to see wolf spider mothers carry all of her small spiderlings on her abdomen.

Picture of the Carolina Wolf Spider
Picture of the Carolina Wolf Spider

Carolina Wolf Spider Information

Category: Spider
Common Name: Carolina Wolf Spider
Scientific Name: Hogna carolinensis
Other Name(s): Giant Wolf Spider

Taxonomy Hierarchy

 Arrow graphic Kingdom: Animalia
  Arrow graphic Phylum: Arthropoda
   Arrow graphic Class: Arachnida
    Arrow graphic Order: Araneae
     Arrow graphic Family: Lycosidae
      Arrow graphic Genus: Hogna
       Arrow graphic Species: carolinensis

Size, Identifying Tags and Territorial Reach

Size (Adult, Length): Size (Adult, Length): 18 mm to 35 mm (0.702 inches to 1.365 inches)
Identifying Colors: brow, black, ivory
Additional Descriptors: biting, hairy, venomous, large, line, stripe

North American Territorial Reach (Though Not Limited To): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Mexico

A Note About Territorial Reach: Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above. Insects are driven by environmental factors, food supplies and mating patterns and do not nescessarily work within hard-and-fast territorial lines like we humans do.

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