What are Wolf Spiders?

The Wolf Spider

Wolf Spiders are common to find across the world. There are thousands of species of Wolf Spiders that you can find around the world. So it is no surprise that people get confused when spotting the wolf spider and confusing them at times with other spiders.

What To Know About Wolf Spiders

  • Wolf Spider carrying its egg sack

    Wolf Spider carrying its egg sack

    Wolf Spiders generally hunt at night. This affects their eye design, which is distinctive in identifying the spider.

  • Wolf Spiders hunt and live alone. They are known to carry their babies on their backs and carry an egg sack with them. But you rarely find more than one at a time.
  • The wolf spider depending on their surroundings and species has developed various ways they hide, live and hunt. Unlike most spiders that spin the web and wait for dinner to show up the wolf spider has been known to hunt down (even chase down) it’s prey.
  • Wolf Spiders do have a venom (as do most spiders) but their bite is not harmful to humans, except for a minor rash. Generally they don’t care about you at all (you’re a bit too big for their appetite) so if you are bitten by a wolf spider it is an accidental occurrence.
  • The wolf spider is a great pest to have around your home to deal with other pests. If you don’t have other pests for them to hunt you are likely not going to find the wolf spider as much.
  • Wolf Spiders have two eyes (eight total) that are unusually large in comparison to the rest of their eyes. This gives them a look that feels almost as if you are staring at something that doesn’t have eight eyes.

Wolf Spiders are often confused for the Brown Recluse spider here in Tennessee. In most cases, the misidentification comes because of markings on some wolf spiders can look similar to the violin marking on the brown recluse. One big distinction between the two spiders is their size. The wolf spider is much larger and thicker than the brown recluse. The set up of the eyes of the recluse and wolf spider is also very different, but who really wants to get that close to a spider to look into their eyes.

A fun thing you can do in your yard (especially with kids) is to go around the yard with a flashlight. The lights will reflect off the wolf spider’s eyes and give a little shine back to you. You can get this same shine during the daytime, but as we mentioned earlier, they are nocturnal hunters and are more easily findable in the evening.

A mother wolf spider keeps all her babies on her back after they hatch from an egg case she carries on her abdomen.

A mother wolf spider keeps all her babies on her back after they hatch from an egg case she carries on her abdomen.

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