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Rabid Wolf Spider (Rabiosa rabida)


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

 Updated: 2/26/2019; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




The Rabid Wolf Spider is not likely to bite, but its alarming speed, huge size, and unfortunate common name would have you think otherwise.



Rabid Wolf Spiders are erratic, fast moving spiders that seem crazed. This is how they earned their common name. They do not carry the Rabies virus and are considered harmless to people. They are aggressive in their posturing and appear to challenge people and animals, but are actually disinclined to bite unless backed into a literal and figurative corner. Running away is the preferred method of dealing with threats that linger. They can be handled without incident, 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.

This light brown spider has two thick dark 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, its 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 one in the dark.

Rabid Wolf Spiders are active hunters that chase down prey though they may lie in wait sometimes for prey to pass close enough to catch them. They do not spin webs or 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. An approaching sheet of paper may engage their flight instinct and help coax them back outside.
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Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Arachnida
      Order: Araneae
        Family: Lycosidae
          Genus: Rabiosa
            Species: rabida
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Rabiosa rabida
Category: Spider
Size (Adult; Length): 11mm to 21mm (0.43in to 0.82in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: tan, brown
Descriptors: fast, erratic, scary, brown, grass, large, big, freaky, stripes, lines, biting, venomous, harmless
Territorial Map
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
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Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delware
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
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Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
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Mexico
Note: 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 as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.




Spider Anatomy
Graphic showing basic parts of spider anatomy
1
Legs: Spiders have four pairs of legs and these are attached to the cephalothorax.
2
Pedipalps: Small appendages near the mouth used as taste and smell organs.
3
Cephalothorax: Contains eyes, head, mouthparts, and legs.
4
Abdomen: Contains various organs related to digestion, reproduction, and web-making.
5
Spinnerets: Used in the production of spider silk for fashioning webs or catching prey.
NOTE: Unlike insects, spiders have both an endoskeleton (internal) and exoskeleton (external).