There are many species of wolf spiders (Lycosidae) and they are
widely distributed and common. They vary in size from medium to large, some
species measuring 2 to 3 inches in diameter. Wolf spiders have long, stout legs
— the fourth pair being the longest. The last two pairs of legs have longer
hairs than the first two pairs.
Wolf spiders are found in a variety of habitats, usually near moist areas
such as leaf litter, low-growing vegetation, the edges of streams, ponds or
rivers, and on sandbars. They are known to dig burrows or tunnel into natural
cavities under objects. They actively stalk their prey during the night, preying
on ground-dwelling insects and other spiders. Wolf spiders are known for their
wandering habits, and it is not unusual to find some that have wandered indoors.
Female wolf spiders spin an egg sac attached to their spinnerets. They are
more aggressive when carrying an egg sac. When wolf spiderlings hatch, they
crawl onto the mother's back and she carries them around for a short period
of time. The young of most wolf spiders pass the winter half-grown and finish
development during the following summer.
G7386, revised March 2003