|Wolf Spiders - Family Lycosidae|
There are over 200 species of Lycosidae in North America, ranging in size from 3 - 35mm.
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Live adult spiders photographed at various North American locations.
Wolf spiders are members of the family Lycosidae, from the Greek word "lycosa" meaning "wolf". Their namesake, their method of hunting is to run down their prey. They are robust and agile hunters that rely on good eyesight.
There are over 200 species of Lycosidae in North America, ranging in size from 3 - 35mm. They have eight eyes arranged in three rows. The bottom row consists of four small eyes, the middle row has two very large eyes (which distinguishes them from the Pisauridae), and the top row has two medium-sized eyes that face the side.
Female Wolf Spider Carries her egg sac by her spinnerets
Wolf spiders carry their eggs along with them in a round silken globe, or egg sac, which they attach to the spinnerets at the end of their abdomen. The abdomen is held in a raised position to keep the egg case from dragging on the ground, but they are still capable of hunting while so encumbered. Also unique among spiders is their method of hatchling care: after the eggs hatch and emerge from the protective silken case, the new spiders climb up their mother's legs and crowd onto her abdomen. She may carry them around for several hours or days until they are ready to fend for themselves. It must be noted, however, that the hatchlings will scatter immediately if the mother spider is threatened or attacked.
Early Spring Wolf Female
Class Arachnida / Order Araneae: Spiders are the largest group of arachnids. They are easily recognized by their eight legs, and there are few creatures great or small that elicit such irrational fear in mankind. The vast majority of spiders are completely harmless and offer beneficial services, chief of which is keeping the burgeoning insect population in check. I am continually amazed at the resourcefulness of these supremely successful predators.
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