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Wolf Spider (Various spp.)


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




Wolf Spiders are familiar, yet frightening, mostly because of their size and all of those babies.



 Updated: 1/16/2020; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




Wolf Spiders are woodland spiders. Their natural habitat is outdoors, though they may wander inside, or be brought in unwittingly as they rest among wood stacks and plant pots. They eat a variety of insects and hunt mostly at night. Mottled coloring helps hide them during the day. They have 8 eyes and the arrangement is the same regardless of species: 4 smaller ones form a lower row, two large ones form the middle row, and two short ones make up the upper row and look like eyebrows. These eyes reflect light at night and often give away their presence when a flashlight moves past them at campsites. They are hefty, robust in body, and fast movers. The female is known to carry her young spiderlings on her back until they are old enough to be on their own, and the large mound of these small, moving babies adds a higher creep factor to those already squeamish about spiders.

Wolf Spiders can bite, and though the bite is painful, it does heal on its own. Generally, only young children and the elderly would need medical attention. Avoid contact with Wolf Spiders to reduce the likelihood of a bite. Take steps to keep debris and piles of wood away from the house, and cut down unruly vegetation to remove hiding places for the spider. Seal cracks and gaps around doors and windows to reduce entry points into the house. Keep lights off at night to avoid attracting insects that will also attract the spider wanting to eat them. Disturbing a female with spiderlings on her back risks scattering them in all directions.


General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Fast insect icon
Spiny / Spiky insect icon


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Araneae
        Family: Lycosidae [ View More ]
          Genus: Various [ View More ]
            Species: spp.
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Descriptors
Scientific Name: Various spp.
Category: Spider
Size (Adult; Length): 3mm to 35mm (0.12in to 1.37in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown; yellow; black
Descriptors: big; fast; spiky hair on legs; wide head; eye hump
Relative Size Comparison
Lo: 3mm | Hi: 35mm
Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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
Canadian National Flag Graphic
Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
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.
Territorial Map
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
State of Alabama graphic
State of Arizona graphic
State of Arkansas graphic
State of California graphic
State of Colorado graphic
State of Delware graphic
State of Florida graphic
State of Georgia graphic
State of Idaho graphic
State of Illinois graphic
State of Indiana graphic
State of Iowa graphic
State of Kansas graphic
State of Kentucky graphic
State of Louisiana graphic
State of Maine graphic
State of Maryland graphic
State of Michigan graphic
State of Minnesota graphic
State of Mississippi graphic
State of Missouri graphic
State of Montana graphic
State of Nebraska graphic
State of Nevada graphic
State of New England graphic
State of New Jersey graphic
State of New Mexico graphic
State of New York graphic
State of North Carolina graphic
State of North Dakota graphic
State of Ohio graphic
State of Oklahoma graphic
State of Oregon graphic
State of Pennsylvania graphic
State of South Carolina graphic
State of South Dakota graphic
State of Tennessee graphic
State of Texas graphic
State of Utah graphic
State of Virginia graphic
State of Washington graphic
State of West Virginia graphic
State of Wisconsin graphic
State of Wyoming graphic
Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic


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).