The Find-a-Spider Guide

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Wolf spider

Fact Box
Species:
Lycosa leucophaeoides?
(Based on a tentative identification by Volker Framenau and images by T. Hawkeswood)
Family:
Lycosidae
Body length:
female: 21 mm
male: 19 mm
Habitat:
This species lives in a burrow that descends vertically then runs parallel with the surface
Toxicity:
This spider's venom may cause mild illness but not necrotising arachnidism
Lycosa leucophaeoides?
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View from above
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View from side
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Another view

Wolf spider species have a pair of large eyes (plus six small ones) that give them good forwards vision. Like other wolf spiders the species shown on this page 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. Note that this is one of the relatively small group of Australian lycosids that have a door at the entrance to the burrow.

Wolf spiders are notable vagrants and can sometimes be found outside the burrow foraging for insects. Females produce a white or pale blue spherical egg sac and this may be carried around attached to the spinnerets. When the spiderlings hatch out they crawl onto the female's upper surfaces, almost completely covering them. It is presumed this serves as an efficient means of dispersing the young spiders.

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 1 December 2012.