Wolf Spiders are familiar, yet frightening, mostly because of their size and all of those babies.
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.
Scientific Name: Various spp.
Size (Adult; Length): 3mm to 35mm (0.12in to 1.37in)
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Legs: Spiders have four pairs of legs and these are attached to the cephalothorax.
Pedipalps: Small appendages near the mouth used as taste and smell organs.
Cephalothorax: Contains eyes, head, mouthparts, and legs.
Abdomen: Contains various organs related to digestion, reproduction, and web-making.
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).