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Lycosa coelestis (male)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Suborder: Araneomorphae
Family: Lycosidae
Genus: Lycosa
Latreille, 1804
Selected species

(L. aspersa)
L. singoriensis
L. tarantula
 200+ more

223 species

Lycosa is a genus of wolf spiders. The genus is distributed throughout most of the world.

Often (incorrectly) called the "true tarantula", Lycosa can be distinguished from common wolf spiders by their relatively large size. This genus includes the European Lycosa tarantula, which was once associated with tarantism, a dubious affliction whose symptoms included shaking, cold sweats, and a high fever, asserted to be curable only by the traditional tarantella dance. There is no scientific substantiation of that myth; the venom of Lycosa spiders is generally not harmful.

As of 2013 there are 223 described species in this genus.[1]

Lycosa hawaiiensis carrying young
Lycosa tarantula, illustration
Lycosa godeffroyi carrying young

Species list[edit]


  1. ^ Planas, E., Fernández-Montraveta, C., & Ribera, C. (2013). Molecular systematics of the wolf spider genus Lycosa (Araneae: Lycosidae) in the Western Mediterranean Basin. Molecular phylogenetics and evolution, 67(2), 414-428.

External links[edit]