The Find-a-Spider Guide

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Wolf spider

Fact Box
Species:
Tasmanicosa leuckartii
(formerly Lycosa leuckartii)
Family:
Lycosidae
Body length:
female: 17 mm
male: 15 mm
Habitat:
This species normally lives in an open burrow in the ground
Toxicity:
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.

Spider(s) with a very similar appearance: This spider closely resembles Tasmanicosa godeffroyi but lacks the complete black patch under the abdomen, instead having a pale centre in an otherwise black patch.


Email Ron Atkinson for more information.    Last updated 2 April 2017.