|Museum specimen of Lycosa narbonensis from Sicily|
Lycosa narbonensis can reach a length of 5–6 cm (2.0–2.4 in). These spiders have a hairy brownish-black body, long legs, and a light brown abdomen. They have quite good eyesight. As with other wolf spiders, the silken sac containing over 100 eggs is carried attached to the mother's spinnerets. They feed on insects and other small invertebrates.
In common with other wolf spiders, the European L. narbonensis protects her egg sac by carrying it everywhere, attached to her spinnerets. She has a powerful instinct to defend it, but can be easily fooled: if her egg sac is changed for something artificial, like a piece of cork or a wad of paper, she will be defend the substitute with her life. After 2-3 weeks, the mother bites open the sac to allow the brood of up to 100 spiderlings to climb onto her abdomen, several layers deep. Living on their reserves, they hold on for about a week while she continues to hunt and defend herself if necessary. However, no mutual recognition exists. Females accept spiderlngs from another female, and the spiderlings climb onto the backs of other spiders, even males of other species, which often simply eat them.
- L. n. cisalpina Simon, 1937
- Paul Hillyard, The Private Life of Spiders, 2007, New Holland Publisher (UK) Ltd.
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