The Find-a-Spider Guide

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Grey wolf spider

Fact Box
Species:
Unknown lycosid species
(Note: This uniformly grey spider resembles Lycosa leucophaeoides as shown in T. Hawkeswood's book but probably is not that species - see notes below)
Family:
Lycosidae
Body length:
female: about 20-25 mm
male: about 19 mm
Habitat:
This species normally lives in a burrow in the ground, the burrow probably having a door at its entrance
Toxicity:
This spider's venom may cause mild illness but bitings are almost unknown
Unknown lycosid species
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View from above
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View from above
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View from above
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Door on burrow

Note: The Lycosidae of Australia are very difficult to identify without the aid of a stereo microscope and extensive taxonomic details. Surface markings can be quite variable for a given species, from specimen to specimen, from male to female, and from juvenile to adult. Over the last decade or so a major revision of the Australian wolf spider fauna has been undertaken by Dr. Volker Framenau and his colleagues. This revision is not yet complete so some of the lycosid identifications shown on this website are likely to be incorrect either now or in the near future. At the end of 2010 the most reliable sources of information/photos about the Australian lycosids can be found at the following two websites:

http://www.lycosidae.info/identification/australia/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/australianspiders/collections/72157622669463297/

Note also that the third and fourth images on this page do not perfectly match the first two and therefore may be of a different species. They seem more likely to be the spider Volker Framenau has labelled "Grey wolf spider" but unidentifiable at the present time. If this spider is indeed Framenau's grey wolf spider it will probably be found in a burrow with a neatly fitted door at its entrance. This is a relatively uncommon feature of wolf spider burrows, only a few Australian wolf spider species building such a door.

Spider(s) with a very similar appearance: A number of other Lycosa species that lack strong surface markings.


Email Ron Atkinson for more information.    Last updated 8 February 2011.