Talk:Wolf spider

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"The wolf spiders are capable of nothing defensive to bites, and some South American species may give bites that are medically significant. However, in general their presence works very much in favor of humans wherever they are found."

Even if the first sentence of that paragraph was improved, I think the entire paragraph is redundant when taken in context. It's directly followed by the "Toxicity" section. I'm new-ish to editing Wikipedia, so I'm not sure if I should just go ahead and remove that paragraph or not. :^) -- Timothym (talk) 07:15, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Wrong Picture[edit]

Not a Wolf spider, but a jumping spider

The picture included (mistakenly) at the end of the "wolf spider" article is a jumping spider. You can tell very easily by the "squared-off" front end of the cephalo-thorax and the eye arrangement. Also, if you have the living specimen, you will note that she will happily jump from the table to your finger tip, from finger tip to finger tip, and that she will also scale sheer glass walls with complete security. Wolf spiders do no better on glass than human beings (except for Spiderman, of course) ;-)


Is the spider a wolf spider, Wolf spider, or Wolf Spider? The page name indicates the last, and the text of the artilce indicates the first. -SCEhardT 04:36, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

A good point, which I've now dealt with. Capital letters are controversial when applied to individual species; for whole groups, they're definitely not used. --Stemonitis 14:43, 6 March 2006 (UTC)


There are several genera of wolf spiders and even more species. The largest member of the Lycosidae in the United States is called the "Carolina Wolf Spider." Although I am living in N. Carolina, The body of this species is approximately one inch long.

Wolf spiders do not climb well. They can't go up glass, for instance. So they are at risk if they climb up walls. One danger is falling and injuring themselves. Another danger is falling into something that they can't climb out of --

Nonsense. I have them in Garrett Co. MD and they will climb up a few feet at least. Climbing up glass does not count, but they do climb. -- (talk) 03:10, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

Anyway, tell your friend that wolf spiders are among the real scairdy cats of the spider world. They have good vision, so it would be hard to put your hand down on one accidentally because it would see you and then your hand approaching and it would run away as fast as it could. Jumping spiders can be kind of like the squirrels that run around the tree trunk when they see you approaching but then circle around to keep an eye on you, whereas wolf spiders are more like rabbits that run as soon as they see you have started to move on them.

The big ones in Garrett Co. MD are very wary of humans and will not attack. Shoo them off but don't kill them.-- (talk) 03:10, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

I've purchased a couple of species of spider that are supposed to be "aggressive," but I have yet to find one that will actually approach my hand and try to bite. (I know there are tarantulas that are kept as pets that have bitten their handlers -- mostly when surprised close to their homes I think. But most of us do not have tarantulas living wild, and tarantulas don't frequent houses.) Tell you friend to just not grab his eight-legged friend and he'll probably be perfectly safe. (Of course if he lives somewhere near Sydney, Australia, all bets are off.)P0M 14:43, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

I don't think they're "scairdy cats". I found one in my home recently. Wasn't exactly aggressive, but it certainly wasn't scared. It approached us pretty fearlessly. They are very fast though. The one we found was roughly the size of my hand, legs included, but it does have very long legs. The easiest way to identify one is flash a light on their eyes, they're very reflective. (talk) 04:35, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

I am sure they can get as big as the palm of your hand-Keefer S-- (talk) 16:45, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

Including the spread of the legs, they can be as big as a silver dollar (approximately 2" diameter - at least the ones in Garrett Co, MD. Scary yes, but at the same time, not aggressive. It certainly does take some getting used to. I've only encountered them outside, in their natural environment. -- (talk) 03:10, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

Regarding the size listed as 'body size' - I think this means the size without the legs, but the term is ambigous from an outsiders perspective. I don't know if it's jargon, but if somone is certain they know what it means, could they throw in the clarifying parenthesis? Thankyou. Simon.p.hastings (talk) 01:38, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

i agree, some clarity would be a good idea, i assume this must mean without legs, because there is a wolf spider that lives under my BBQ which is biggest than a matchbox, i saw one in Cyprus bigger than my hand, and there is a photo at the bottom of this page of a female in the palm of someone's hand- clearly overall they can be bigger than 1.18 inches, but the way it's currently written suggests otherwise... (talk) 13:49, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
Fixed.P0M (talk) 16:30, 22 August 2013 (UTC)


"After the eggs hatch, the multitude of tiny spiders climb onto their mother's abdomen, where she carries them for a considerable period of time, comparable to human relationships."

Is that last comment necessary?

I have cleaned that up, with a reference. It is not great yet, just better. (By the way, please sign your comments!) --Charles Gaudette 05:55, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

I found one in my sons play pen it was the size of my hand also, legs included. Theyr so scary looking and big, they are also not afraide at all. I went near it and it did not move just sat there looking right at me. I'm thinking it bit my son because he had a red spot on his neck, I had found it ti'll later in the night. Are wolf spiders poisenness? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:27, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

I'm sorry I missed this message before. You did not say where you are located. A one-inch body-length is about tops for wolf spiders. In the U.S. there are a couple of spiders in the genus Hogna that reach this size. I think they might stretch out to about a 3 inch diameter, so that might make them palm sized at least. (I just remembered that I have rather large hands.) In South America there are some species whose bites can produce tissue death at the site of the bite. In North America, Europe, and probably most other parts of the world, their bites are not a medical problem. It sounds like nothing serious happened to your child in the time between when you found the bite and "later in the night" and then when you wrote your e-mail message, so you are probably not going to see anything worse. If you do, please seek medical help.
You did not say that your child screamed when s/he was bitten. It sounds like the bite was not painful.
You may have encountered a "fishing spider," i.e., something like Dolomedes scriptus. They have a body length of one inch, and may be slower to move away than most wolf spiders.
If the spider you saw had a body length much over an inch, and if you live in Florida or the South-west part of the U.S., you may have encountered a Huntsman spider. Those in the genus Olios are known to be aggressive, although it is possible that their vision is poor enough that they mistake things like human fingers for prey items (because they don't connect the caterpillar-sized finger with the rest of the human body). Reports indicate that Huntsman bites are definitely not fun, but they are not regarded as medically significant injuries.
You mentioned that your child was in a playpen. If the playpen was directly on the floor, then a wolf spider might have been in the process of making its way across the playpen when your child rolled over on it. If it had been raised even an inch, it is unlikely that a wolf spider would have climbed into the area. Wheels or metal raisers would pose a huge barrier to wolf spiders because they can't climb slick things. The Dolomedes spiders generally will not come indoors. (Wolf spiders seem to find their way inside when it starts to get cold outside.) Huntsman spiders are good climbers and also seem to like the insides of houses and automobiles. I think you are not in Australia because it seems that lots of people from that part of the world have had encounters with Huntsman spiders. (Many of the picture of Huntsman on the WWW are in cars, on walls, or sticking out from behind wall clocks.)
People get spider bites in bed fairly frequently because various kinds of wandering spiders go exploring while humans are tossing and turning in bed. What would you do if a horse rolled over on you? ;-) P0M (talk) 16:51, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

Page features overlap[edit]

The scientific classification box is overlapping the additional photos. I'm using FF 1.0.7. Also I just woke up to two wolf spiders here on my porch in Santa Cruz, CA. One of them was at least an inch and a half in body length and probably 4-5 inches in "legspan."


I think the gallery at the end is too big and cluttered, although these pictures could be useful for the article. maybe we could move it to the talk page and work these pictures one by one into a nice long article about wolf spiders? :) --Sarefo 01:40, 21 November 2006 (UTC)


Isn't it the map very false? I mean, no way at all those live here in Northern Europe atleast. We don't have any spiders that could attack humans.. Does anyone have a source for the distribution so that map can be redone?--Pudeo (Talk) 18:19, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

Where is anything said about wolf spiders attacking humans?

The map needs re-doing. I can't speak for the rest of Europe but it seems to indicate that Wolf spiders are found in the U.K. They're not. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:34, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

Not true. It is impossible to prove that there are no specimens of anything in any place, but easy to demonstrate that there are some wolf spiders in England. See, for instance, P0M (talk) 07:11, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

The spider from around the ancient Roman city of Tarentum which made everybody afraid in the Middle Ages is a rather large wolf spider, and it evidently convinced people that they could get bitten by it, but Fabre did not find it to be at all aggressive. Its venom is not problematical for humans. On the other hand, there are a few spiders in Europe that give a nasty bite. It's just that they are not wolf spiders and you have to grab one of them to get it to bite you, or corner it in your shoe with your big foot.
If you ever try to catch a wolf spider, no matter what kind it is, I think you will find that they are entirely concerned with one thing alone, and that is to get away from you.
You may not notice wolf spiders unless you look for them. If you want to find examples of European species, try this site: P0M 21:12, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps, should I have said that there are no "poisonous" spiders then? Living in Finland, I have not encountered any of those big spiders or seen material that they exist here. The map says that they exist in the every country in the world, this can't be? Thus questioning it's relibiality. Perhaps some of these species can be found in the southern parts of the Northern World due to global warming, but I doubt these.. --Pudeo (Talk) 22:59, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
The largest member of the family found in the U.S. is around 2.5 cm. The smaller ones that I have seen are a couple of mm. long. (Just counting the body, not including the legs.) I seem to recall that the European tarantula (Lycosa tarantula) is almost that large. But the small ones are much more common around here. I didn't make the map, but it is consistent with what I know from other sources. It's sort of like mice, you can find them just about anywhere. But they are not all of the same species. There are several genera of wolf spiders and a very large number of species.
If you learn what they look like you will probably begin seeing them. Around here they are easiest to see in the early spring. As soon as it gets warm enough for flies and other insects to appear, a huge number of little wolf spiders come out of their winter hiding places and prowl around on the ground looking for something to eat. Since there is no grass growing at that time it is much easier to see them. They are in great danger of being stepped on by horses, cows, and smaller animals, so they keep a sharp watch for approaching creatures and they run very fast. I am fortunate to have 20/10 vision (good enough to be a jet fighter pilot), so maybe I can see them better than other people. Of course nobody else looks for them either.
When the evenings begin to turn cool in autumn I always find several large wolf spiders walking across my living room floor. They come through the cracks around the door to get into the warmer air. That kind is typically around 1 cm. long. Most of them are well camoflaged when they are outside, but they stand out against the lighter color of my wooden floor. But when I lived in Nebraska I don't recall them ever entering the house. Probably the difference was that the porch was farther off the ground than the one I have now.
If you Google "lycosidae Finland" you will find plenty of information, and at you will see a nice picture of one that resembles closely the kind that visit me in my home. P0M 03:20, 16 June 2007 (UTC)

What do they eat?[edit]

What do they eat?

Insects, I would imagine. Skogul 12:27, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

Do they eat crickets? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:05, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

Definitely. P0M (talk) 20:28, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

How about a "Diet" section? (talk) 03:08, 16 December 2013 (UTC)


I don't know much about spiders, but I do know that little toxicity section about wolf spiders being deadly and what-not isn't true. I don't want to edit it due to my lack of knowledge, but someone needs to. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 22:01, August 21, 2007 (UTC)

The misinformation seems to have been fixed.P0M (talk) 16:03, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

wolf spiders are very poisonus but my mom said thier fangs are to small to bite-Keefer Stoldt —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:39, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

Sorry. Wrong on both points as far as N. America goes. Some of the S. American lycosidae are quite toxic, although not enough to require hospitalization as far as I know. The ones in N. America are not a problem -- except that mechanically their bites are pretty fierce. One lady wrote in to this discussion group several years ago and said she put her shoe one after a wolf spider had taken refuge there, and it bit through her toenail.
I once was trying to slow a small wolf spider down enough that I could get it into a bottle. I put one hand down in front of it. It ran over that hand. I put my other hand right up in front. Then I switch hands. I did this three or four times and the spider decided she had suffered enough. She bit me without stopping her forward motionw. Her whole body length could not have been more than about 1/3 inch. So to see her fangs I would have needed a magnifying glass or at least to get very, very close. Nevertheless I definitely felt the pain and the tingle where she had bitten me.Even full-sized black widows have tiny little fangs. They are big enough, however.
Think about chiggers. They are too small to see, but they can still bite.P0M (talk) 20:25, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
Clearly any variety of spider is capable of puncturing the shell of almost any insect, and thereby human skin. So wolf spiders are probably capable of biting humans. Whether they are willing to do so, or able to inflict any harm is still an open subject.-- (talk) 03:22, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
Article references on toxicity to humans are weak. One link to a reference is broken, the other has no discussion of human toxicity. Needs work. I've not found wolf spiders to be aggressive to humans and have no material to provide regarding this subject. -- (talk) 03:16, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
I'll check. The references on toxicity to humans for almost all spiders are weak. Even the LD-50 for the few spiders that can kill humans is probably unknown because scientists cannot go around injecting humans with spider venoms. The next best thing is to inject lab animals with venom, but the trouble is that species by species the reactions to various venoms and highly idiosyncratic. What will kill a horse won't faze a rabbit. If hospitalizations are not frequently involved, physicians do not gain any information about the toxicity of these bites. Even if the information were collected, it might well be highly subjective. "It hurt like hell for a few minutes," or something like that. I think the Geolycosidae are much more likely to bite humans. They live at the bottom of tunnels, and they do not run around, so running away is doubly not an option for them. The result is that if you dig one of them out of its hole and make the mistake of poking your finger at it, it will very likely attack. I tried to photograph one once and needed to flick some soil particles off of it with a Q-tip. The spider pounced on the Q-tip as soon as it got too close, and it left a heavy stain of venom where it bit. I was happy with myself for not having used a finger. Just the thought of that much foreign substance being injected makes me a little leery.
We have both Hogna carolinensis and Hogna helluo in my area, and they are both quite large -- about 1 inch in body length. Neither one is at all inclined to bite humans. Their strategy is to run rather than to fight. I communicated with a lady here in N. Carolina who had put her shoe on only to discover that there was a wolf spider in there. She said that it bit through her toenail. I'm pretty sure it was one of the Hogna species, so I have to believe that they will bite if there is no possibility of running and they are getting hurt. But she reported no major ill effects.
I vaguely remember that in S. America there are some species whose bites do cause medical problems. I should take another look. Maybe something new has come out in the last year or so.P0M (talk) 04:40, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
I found one book via Google:

"In a study of spider envenomations, 515 patients bitten by wolf spiders (family Lycosidae) developed mild effects, and only three patients received antivenom. Since 1985, Butantan Institute spider antivenom does not include an anti-Lycosid fraction (46, 47)

46 Lucas S. Spiders in Brazil, //Toxicon// 1988;26(9):271-173 (sic)

47 Ribeiro LA, Jorge MT, Presco PV, et al. Wolf spider bites in Sao Paulo, Brazil: a clinical and epidemiological study of 515 cases. //Toxicon// 1990:130(8):1817-1824

Third Edition

Medical Toxicology

Editor Richard C. Dart et al.

Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

© 2004 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

iSBN 0-7817-2845-2

If anybody wants to pop these references into the article, be my guest.P0M (talk) 15:56, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

Cleared up Info[edit]

Wolf Spiders can grow (with legs) to be the size of your palm. I've seen some personally bigger than some tarantulas. In fact, I caught one in my office today about 1 1/4 inch long (without legs). There's reports of some getting to be 2 Inches long in books and other articles.

As far as toxicity, their bites are similar to a bee sting. Little redness, swelling, no where near fatal by any stretch. Wolf Spiders are oportunist hunters, anything that's smaller than them that they can sneak up on and kill they'll give it a try. You can handle them- I pet the one i caught bare-handed and named him Pete heh. They eat crickets, flies (if they can catch them), small geckos, and even young grass hoppers. Rule of thumb, don't play with spiders you don't what are, but wolf spiders are pretty tolerable of people, they just dont want to get squished, and will make every attempt to get out of your way and won't agressively defend anything- except some borrowing species... Any spider in a web is more likely to attack and bite when cornered than a free-roaming wolf spider- Just dont get some species of wolf spider mixed up with Brown Recluses- I live in texas some look strikingly similar in dim light(don't pet recluses, they're antisocial at best)

The one thing i'm curious about is mating habbits and socialogy of wolf spiders. Are they all lone-wolfs? I'm going to catch a good 10 or so and put them in a cage and feed them all and see if they eat eachother- since they do eat smaller spiders as well...

They will definitely eat each other. There are some spiders that live together, but not any of the Lycosidae that I know about. P0M (talk) 16:03, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

Disclaimer: I'm not a scientist or arachnid specialist by any means, but I have handled many spiders and actively engage Wolf Spiders in particular since they live everywhere- scares my little nieces good when you hold out your hands and 6 wolf spiders fly out crawling up your arms! :) -Mike —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:09, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

Forgot one- Wolf Spiders carry their egg around with them. When the spiders have matured enough to hatch the egg gets torn open and the spiders pile up on the mother. She carries them for a couple weeks until they're grown enough to hunt on their own, then they scatter.

They are primarily nocturnal. You can shine a light in their eyes and see the reflective disc- like a cat/dog and several other animals with the similar reflectant lens in their eyes.

And on the note of looking like a recluse- if you find them wandering around, chances are it's not a recluse due to the fact that recluses, like their name states, are very shy arachnids and prefer small dark places- shoes, cracks in walls, cinderblocks, irrigation valve boxes- caught black widows a month back- my damn technicians killed em 'cuase they were scared of widows...sissies.

But don't be afraid of wolf spiders in any circumstance, I dare you to gently pick on up, or scoot it onto your hand. They'll usually sit right on it (like the warmth?) otherwise will run up your arm and hide in a crease of your sleeve... -Mike —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:18, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

Comparative Scale[edit]

I wonder if someone could perhaps draw up the size of this spider in comparison to say a human hand. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:56, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Wolf spiders come in all sizes. The largest American species has a body length of about 1 inch long. The smallest of the wolf spiders are around 1/8 inch long. So a single drawing would have to include both extremes. P0M (talk) 16:03, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

Scale and Images[edit]

I discovered a rather large specimen outside of my home in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma at ~1430 (day time). I'm not an artist, but I did get to handle the spider a bit. His leg span measured 3" and would cover most of a person's hand. The spider over all was a good sport about me picking him up and carrying him to his photo op. It didn't even seem to mind me putting a quarter and a pen near it. I would guess that most times it would sit still instinctively, so that it's natural camouflage would give it protection. Loud noises did tend to startle it. When something of this nature would occur it would jump 2-4" straight up and run to the nearest wall or place it thought it could hide.

Rabidosa punctulata I think. The front two legs of the males of this species are black, unlike the females whose legs are all the same color. P0M (talk) 16:03, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

Going back to the size topic, I've personally caught a wolf spider much bigger then this. Four years ago I caught a spider using the lid from a 50 CD-R stack. I had to work it back and forth to get his legs inside the case; the spider's leg span was bigger then a CD. I'll post those pictures when I find them.

That's too large to be a wolf spider. I think it's likely to have been one of the Sparassidae (Huntsman spiders). In your area it could have been Heteropoda venatoria or Olios fasciculatus. The former species is rather shy, the latter species is possibly a little more aggressive. One of the unusual characteristics of the Huntsman spiders is that they run at top speeds in an absolutely straight line. They may make prey mistakes, so watch your fingers. P0M (talk) 16:03, 26 July 2008 (UTC)
The other one wasn't a huntsman spider. The spider I found was fairly fury. It didn't have the crab-like stance the huntsman seems to have and the legs were all roughly the same length. It was hanging from a brick wall with two legs back and two forward. Looking back I guess it may have been a tarantula but I could swear it looked more like the photos I posted. Still trying to find the photo's I took of it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kesterj (talkcontribs) 02:05, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
The eyes of tarantulas are very much different from those of the wolf spiders. So you might want to look at some close-up images of tarantula eyes and of wolf spider eyes. Post the pictures if you ever find them. I recently went back to check sizes and couldn't find any expert testimony about wolf spiders with bodies above approx. one inch long. P0M (talk) 07:02, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

3 Images added to the article —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kesterj (talkcontribs) 09:25, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

Wrong photo -- vandalism?[edit]

I just noticed that somebody has inserted a picture of one of the Salticidae into the taxonomy box. I will fix it. P0M (talk) 16:16, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

misleading information[edit]

The article currently has wolf spiders enlarged to 3 inches. The largest American wolf spiders, Hogna carolinensis, are about 1 in long -- if you count only body length. As far as I know, none of the Lycosidae have body lengths larger than that.

Spider dealers generally measure the size of tarantulas (and other spiders they may have for sale) by measuring the spread of the spider's legs. That would mean that a somewhat leggy H. carolinensis would probably be around 3 inches.

There are Huntsman spiders in S.E. Asia somewhere with leg spans of around 10 inches -- that's much larger than the kind that are found in the U.S., Japan, etc. So it is possible that there may be some huge wolf spider somewhere with a body length of 3 inches. If so, let's have the citation. Otherwise, the claim will have to go. P0M (talk) 00:39, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

I am no expert and I have no sources but I've had a wolf spider on my leg (In Australia) that was at least the size of a huntsman if not bigger. It was probably 5 inches wide if you measure the legs. And from front to back it would've been 2-3 inches.-- (talk) 09:55, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
It's possible. But you would have to have scholarly recognition of your find. If there is a member of the Lycosidae that large, it's hard to believe that none of the people in Australia who have spent their entire lives dedicated to the study of arachnids could have missed this species. P0M (talk) 06:24, 11 December 2008 (UTC)


Wolf spider, Greenwood, Missouri photo seems pretty worthless. Any possibility of removal? (talk) 05:23, 10 November 2014 (UTC)userrrrr

Jesus Christ, does this article need so many photos?! It's horrifying! Especially that "defending its burrow" one... More photos does not equal more information. - Lontano (talk) 16:10, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Oh come on put some photos! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:43, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

Spider in swimming pool[edit]

I live in Sun City, California and often find our WOLF SPIDERS swimming in the pool usually around late afternoon. They take their dip and while in the water eat their dinner from things floating atop the water. They are agile swimmers! (Smile). I read the description and read nothing about them being in swimming pools.

Thank you,

Rebecca Salgado Sun City California —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:10, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Without seeing these spiders it's difficult to be sure what they are or aren't. Wolf spiders typically do not do well in the water. Nor to they do well in bath tubs -- because once they fall in they cannot fall out.
There are some species of spiders that can actually swim underwater. They even build their shelters below the water surface. They occur in Europe, but not in the U.S.
There are some species of spiders that glide over the surface of the water. Their feet are supported on the water by surface tension. They move so rapidly that it seems impossible to catch one. They are not wolf spiders. I've never seen them anywhere except in ponds and still streams. A heavily chlorinated swimming pool would probably not be good for them. My guess is that they hole up in some nook when they are not out gliding around. Maybe they are capable of climbing the smooth surfaces that foil wolf spiders. P0M (talk) 21:34, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Hatchlings' access to abdomen[edit]

The article says the spiderlings climb onto the mother's abdomen by way of her legs. Has this been observed? Walking directly onto her abdomen from the egg sac would be easier. The wolf spiders I've observed (probably Pardosa sp.) have long legs, so that using them would make for a roundabout trip. In this photo, I think one little leg is visible at the front of the egg sac.


Cognita (talk) 05:22, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

The mother spider may not have the egg sac attached at the time the baby spiders are released -- particularly if she has to open the sac for the little spiders. (I don't know of any published reports on how this happens.) I have seen accounts that when two mother spiders of the same species meet the babies all crawl off, the spiders fight, and all the babies climb onto the winner. I think that's in John Compton's Lives of the Spiders. If that is an accurate account, then crawling up the legs would make sense. It seems unlikely that a dislodged spider would be picky about how it gets back aboard. I don't know where there is any very serious study of these matters. P0M (talk) 16:22, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
Well, okay. It's hard to imagine, though, how a double load of babies could fit on one mother's abdomen--my photos show them packed together for a "spaghetti and meatballs" look, until they're bigger and fewer--or what adaptive advantage this behavior might have.

Cognita (talk) 06:42, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

Last summer I noticed that my pasture was pretty well covered with burrows, so I dug one out and discovered a Geolycosid with babies. I had not expected them. I recall some of them having been dislodged. I remember that one of them was trying to crawl a rear leg and the mother spider was upset enough that she was not very willing to let it back on. She shook her leg as though trying to shake it off, but it made it anyway.
If I remember Compton's book correctly, the point seemed to be that to the baby spiders one mother was indistinguishable from the other. I don't know how much importance to attach to his report, however, because seeing such an encounter must be a once in a lifetime occurrence and who knows whether that was the usual behavior.
Bees will not accept bees from other colonies unless the two colonies are carefully "merged." The same goes for their accepting a new queen. The queen is introduced in a little screened box with a candy plug in the end. The theory is that the queen acquires the hive odor in the time it takes the worker bees to eat away the candy, and in the meantime they have already started to feed her through the screen. It is clear that bees would have to evolve some way of detecting robber bees from other colonies. Any hive that failed to detect freeloaders from other colonies could lose all its harvest. But there would be nothing I know of that would move spiders toward individual recognition. P0M (talk) 07:46, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

File:Lycosidae female carrying young.jpg to appear as POTD soon[edit]

Hello! This is a note to let the editors of this article know that File:Lycosidae female carrying young.jpg will be appearing as picture of the day on February 13, 2011. You can view and edit the POTD blurb at Template:POTD/2011-02-13. If this article needs any attention or maintenance, it would be preferable if that could be done before its appearance on the Main Page so Wikipedia doesn't look bad. :) Thanks! howcheng {chat} 09:03, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

Picture of the day
Female wolf spider

A camouflaged female wolf spider, from the Lycosoidea superfamily, carrying her young on her back. Wolf spiders are robust and agile hunters with good eyesight. They are unique in the way that they carry their eggs. The egg sac, a round silken globe, is attached to the spinnerets at the end of the abdomen, allowing the spider to carry her unborn young with her.

Photo: Muhammad Mahdi Karim
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