Wolf spiders employ a different method when looking for their prey. They do not use the web just as most spiders do. Wolf spider sizes are not that big if compared to tarantulas’, which can be as big as a dinner plate if their legs fully extended.
Wolf spiders can reach up to 6 mm to 3 cm long, and the females are usually bigger than males. You will find this type of spiders crawl in the ground as they go out for hunting their prey usually at night.
People with arachnophobia are not going to like it if they find this eight-legged creature crawling under their beds. People may also mistakenly think wolf spiders as tarantulas owing to their way of living.
Class of Family
Wolf spiders are classified to the Lycosidae family, coming from the Greek word which means “wolf.” There are over 100 genera and about 2,300 species of wolf spiders, many of which are native to the United States.
Source of Food
Ground-dwelling insects and invertebrates are wolf spiders’ favorite food source, but they would also prey other spiders as well. You would find wolf spiders hunt and catch their prey, but some other species patiently wait for prey to come and snatch it.
As any other living creatures would do, wolf spiders would bite if intimidated. Luckily, their venoms are not likely to cause death for humans. If bitten, you may get swelling and feel it painful, but critical medical problems have never been recorded.
They can be found in many different areas, including grasslands, meadows, and mountains as long as there are plenty of food sources available. Most of the wolf spiders are nocturnal. They mainly live on the ground, but some of them climb trees as well when hunting.
Once they found a prey, they would jump on its prey, clasp it with their legs, and ride on its back, tightly holding it with their limbs before sinking their teeth into its body along with their venom.
They typically have several body colors ranging from brown, black, grey, or tan with dark spots and stripes, which they smartly use for camouflaging themselves either to catch a prey or to keep predators away.
They would make a hole on the ground or would use other animals’ holes as their homes, while some others can be found on the vegetation of hiding.
Some species love to wander with no specific place to return when looking for prey, some of them would go back to their homes to feed.
Wolf Spiders Predators
There are several predators that wolf spiders should be aware of such as rodents, birds, and lizards, which can be a factor that influences wolf spiders number.
Wolf spiders camouflage themselves from predatory animals by not only using their colors, but they also use some, excellent eyesight, rapid movements and high sensitivity to vibrations to anticipate their enemies’ attack.
When it comes to mating, wolf spiders employ special visual signals. By uniquely using their pedipalps, the males show their attentiveness to females. The mother usually carries its babies on its back.
Wolf Spiders’ Life Expectancy
Males and females of wolf spiders have a different life expectancy. The males typically can live about a year, which is shorter than the females as they can reach up for several years.
After knowing wolf spiders sizes and some facts about wolf spiders’ behaviors, you can now feel relaxed as you, hopefully, will not mistakenly judge wolf spiders as tarantulas.