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Wolf Spider (Hogna aspersa)


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



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The Wolf Spider female is an ardent caretaker of her young, demonstrating a devotion not commonly seen in arachnids.



Updated: 07/15/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
A Wolf Spider hunts at night, spending the daytime hiding in a burrow under stones, logs, or other undisturbed places. Its brown, earthy coloring makes them difficult to see in forests and lawns even in the daytime. They have been found exploring the inside of homes, too. Their large size makes them intimidating and generally feared. They are known to deliver a painful bite when handled, but their venom is not medically dangerous to humans. Given their size, one can imagine the fangs are also proportionately large, adding to the pain of a bite. Wolf Spiders have reflective eyes. This quality is best seen at night. Shining a flashlight at one reveals its location.

After mating in the fall, males die and females overwinter. A female lays her eggs in the spring and bundles them in a sac spun from her spider silk. She guards this sac and may be seen moving it to safer locations. Once hatched, the small spiderlings climb onto the back of the mother and spend the summer there. Like adults, young spiders also have reflective eyes. When a mother and her offspring are seen at night with a flashlight, the multitude of staring eyes on her back looks like a glittering jewel or disco ball. The young spiders grow in size while piggy-backing on the mother. Both mother and spiderlings overwinter together. The next summer, the spiderlings reach full size and full maturity and finally leave the mother to start life on their own.




General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Insect biting icon
Venomous insect icon




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Arachnida
      Order: Araneae
        Family: Lycosidae
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          Genus: Hogna
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            Species: aspersa
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Hogna aspersa
Other Name(s): Wolf Spider
Category: Spider
Size (Adult; Length): 16mm to 25mm (0.62" to 0.98")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown; black; tan; yellow
Descriptors: biting, venomous
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 16mm (0.6in) and 25mm (1.0in)
Lo: 16mm
Md: 20.5mm
Hi: 25mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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
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State of Indiana graphic
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State of Kansas graphic
State of Kentucky graphic
State of Louisiana graphic
State of Maine graphic
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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
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Wolf Spider may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Wolf Spider. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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