The Find-a-Spider Guide

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Wolf spider

Fact Box
Venatrix furcillata (VF)
formerly Lycosa furcillata (RM)
(or a related species: see notes below)
Body length:
female: 13 mm
male: 9 mm
In a burrow in the ground with an open and unadorned entrance
Uncertain; may cause mild illness but bitings that lead to serious problems appear to be uncommon
Venatrix furcillata
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The male
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Communal web
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Spiders on web
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Web, close view

This relatively common lycosid species has somewhat distinctive surface markings but there are several other Australian Venatrix species that look much the same.

Wolf spiders are notable vagrants and can sometimes be found outside the burrow foraging for insects. However, as the photos on this page show, at least some lycosid species have the ability to 'balloon' to new locations when threatened by flooding and may end up on a 'communal' web that contains large numbers of individual spiders. This phenomenon is well known for some members of the Family Linyphiidae but is not often seen for lycosid species.

Spider(s) with a very similar appearance: A number of other small lycosid species, especially Venatrix species.

Email Ron Atkinson for more information.    Last updated 31 January 2013.