The Find-a-Spider Guide

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Wolf spider

Fact Box
Tasmanicosa leuckartii
(formerly Lycosa leuckartii)
Body length:
female: 17 mm
male: 15 mm
This species normally lives in an open burrow in the ground
This spider's venom may cause mild illness and the males (especially) sometimes wander into houses
Tasmanicosa leuckartii
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View from above
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Underside of spider
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Another specimen
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Front view

The previous name for this species was Lycosa leuckartii but the World Spider Catalog now shows it as Tasmanicosa leuckartii because of the acceptance of the contents of the following paper: Framenau VW and Baehr BC (2016) "Revision of the Australian Union-Jack wolf spiders, genus Tasmanicosa (Araneae, Lycosidae, Lycosinae)", Zootaxa 4213, 1-82.

Most wolf spider species have distinctive patterns of dark markings on their upper body surfaces and a pair of large eyes that give them good forwards vision. Tasmanicosa leuckartii is a common species found in most coastal areas of Australia. Like other wolf spiders it tends to wait just inside the entrance of the burrow and can often be seen there (especially at night when the eyes reflect the light of a torch) or can be attracted to the surface by a grass stalk inserted into the burrow entrance.

Known Range: A very common ground-dwelling spider found in South-east Queensland and essentially all of southern Australia except parts of South Australia itself.

Spider(s) with a very similar appearance: This spider closely resembles Tasmanicosa godeffroyi but lacks the complete black patch under the abdomen.

Email Ron Atkinson for more information.    Last updated 8 January 2022.