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Rabid Wolf Spider (Rabiosa rabida)

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

 Updated: 8/7/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©

  Rabid Wolf Spider  
Picture of Rabid-Wolf-Spider
Picture of Rabid-Wolf-Spider Picture of Rabid-Wolf-Spider

Alarming speed and size coupled with an unfortunate common name, the Rabid Wolf Spider is not likely to bite though its behavior gives the opposite impression.

Rabid Wolf Spiders are erratic, fast moving spiders that almost seem crazed (hence the name). They do not carry the Rabies virus and are considered harmless to people. They are aggressive in posturing and challenging people and animals, but are disinclined to bite unless backed into a literal and figurative corner. Running away is its preferred method of dealing with threats that don't retreat. They can be handled without incident (see photos anywhere online), but the handler must know what they are doing. Bites, if they do occur, are a bit painful, but are considered 'medically insignificant' according to academic and government sources. This means a bite heals on its own and does not require special medical treatment or a visit to the hospital.

Rabid Wolf Spiders are active hunters that chase down prey. They lie in wait sometimes for prey to pass close enough to catch them, but they do not spin webs and sit in them. They are wonderful ecological controls that keep pest insect numbers low thanks to their diet. Because they move around to find food, they sometimes wander indoors.

Rabid Wolf Spiders have two thick brown lines, or stripes, running down the sides of the head. The abdomen has one dark brown center line and two thinner brown lines on the sides of the tan body. At night, their eyes can reflect light in a way similar to dogs and cats, unlike other spiders. Shining a flashlight on a walking path can be a great way to find them in the dark.

Picture of the Rabid Wolf Spider
Picture of the Rabid Wolf Spider

Rabid Wolf Spider Information

Category: Spider
Common Name: Rabid Wolf Spider
Scientific Name: Rabiosa rabida

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: Rabiosa
       Arrow graphic Species: rabida

Size, Identifying Tags and Territorial Reach

Size (Adult, Length): Size (Adult, Length): 11 mm to 21 mm (0.429 inches to 0.819 inches)
Identifying Colors: tan, brown
Additional Descriptors: fast, erratic, scary, brown, grass, large, big, freaky, stripes, lines, biting, venomous, harmless

North American Territorial Reach (Though Not Limited To): Alabama; Arkansas; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Nebraska; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Vermont; Virginia; West Virginia; Wisconsin; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; 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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