Critter Corner - Wolf
DID YOU KNOW:
Wolf spiders were so named because people once thought they
hunted in packs like wolves. Scientists now know that a
wolf spider lives alone and will sometimes occupy the same
burrow its entire life.
The wolf spider is an ambush predator. It sis in wait for
to wander by, then with lightning speed grabs its prey and
injects venom. The wolf spider's venom turns the victim's
internal organs to mush, which the spider sucks up through
hollow fangs. Wolf spiders are not picky eaters They
will consume almost any insect. They are even
Male wolf spiders attract females by waving their pedipalps
(leg-like front appendages up and down. After mating,
mother spider finds a safe place and spins a sheet of silk in
which she lays her eggs. She then bundles up the eggs and
spins more silk around them for safety. She attaches the
bundle to her abdomen (actually to her spinnerets) and carries
it around with her. About a month later the spiderlings
hatch and crawl up onto Mom's back and ride around for about a
week. Wolf spiders live about two years.
Wolf spiders are found all over the world and can live in a
variety of habitats. They may be found in or around human
dwellings in the fall when they look for warm places to spend
spider venom is not poisonous to humans. The wolf spider's
best defense is making a quick getaway. They have eight
eyes arranged in pairs that help them see predators and prey.
Because it takes time for their bodies to produce more venom,
wolf spiders save the venom for killing prey; they bite a
predator only as a last resort.
Baby spiderlings often travel by ballooning, or spinning
silk parachutes, so the wind can carry them to new locations.
Like all spiders, wolf spiders molt or shed their skin as
Wolf spiders do not spin webs; they dig burrows instead.
Spider on leaf, Missouri Department of Conservation; Spider in
tunnel, openoptia; Spider with babies, Nevada State Agricultural
Newsletter; Spider closeup, Claremont College (University of
Cincinnati) biology department)