Currently viewing the category: "Wolf Spiders"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Invading ground spiders
Location: texas
September 7, 2014 8:15 pm
I live down in the Texas costal area. I keep finding these spiders everywhere when I go to take my dogs out at night. Ive seen them range from as little as a dime to about 4 inches big. I always see them on the ground hiding in little wholes kinda like sand crabs and never see any webbing. They are quick and so far haven’t been a issue but I would like to find out what they are and make sure they are not poisonous towards me or the dogs
Signature: Concerned dog owner

Wolf Spider

Wolf Spider

Dear Concerned dog owner,
We can’t help but to be amused that you have referred to this Wolf Spider and its kin as “Invading ground spiders” when they have in fact been present in that area far longer than you, your dog, your ancestors or your dog’s ancestors.  Wolf Spiders are native predators that help to control populations of insects and small arthropods.  Like most spiders they have venom, but that venom is not considered especially toxic to humans, nor do we believe it to be toxic to canines.  Wolf Spiders rarely bite people, and in the event a bite occurs, the effects are generally mild and include local swelling and redness as well as tenderness.  The effects are also short-lived.  Since you indicate these Wolf Spiders are found in holes, we suspect they are Burrowing Wolf Spiders in the genus
Geolycosa, and more information on the genus is available on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Spider wasp’s (rescued) victim
August 22, 2014 9:14 am
I saw a wolf spider being attacked by a blue spider wasp today, and I managed to chase away the wasp and rescue the spider. I know some species only temporarily paralyze the victim, and I’ve seen the spider twitch, so…does he have any chance of recovering? I feel bad for intervening, especially since it’s probably too late for the spider, but the poor guy was trying very hard to get away, and I wanted to help him out.
I don’t know what kind exactly the wasp was, but it’s a Michigan variety.
Signature: Kitt

Blue Black Spider Wasp preys upon Wolf Spider (from our archives)

Blue Black Spider Wasp preys upon Wolf Spider (from our archives)

Dear Kitt ,
We have heard of a Tarantula recovering from the sting of a wasp, but the whole purpose of the sting is to paralyze the spider so that it will provide food for the wasp larvae.  We are uncertain if it will recover.  We have illustrated your posting with an image from our archives.

Thanks for responding, and I’m glad you could answer my question. I’ll keep an eye on the spider. who knows? He might recover soon.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Spider Warrior
Location: Texas
August 21, 2014 12:58 pm
this is just a pic i took that i thought i would share the story behind it is my mom poured soapy water to get rid of some ants outside near our melons in the process this big spider got washed out i picked it up with a stick to get it out and brushed the suds off with a leaf i left it for 20 minutes alone under a pot plant hoping it would be okay. but it wasn’t moving and its legs started to curl. i saw my nephews toys and thought well its dead i could take a nice pic, 10 minutes after the pic it jumped to life and scurried away i was shocked but happy it did not die
Signature: Coyote

Wolf Spider saved from Drowning

Wolf Spider saved from Drowning

Dear Coyote,
We love your story and accompanying image of this Wolf Spider rescued from drowning.  We have heard other accounts of drowned Wolf Spiders rescued from swimming pools that also revived and survived.  We are also tagging this posting with the Bug Humanitarian Award.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Scorpion with brood consumes wolf spider
Location: Toledo District , Belize
August 17, 2014 8:32 pm
After looking at your scorpion photos, I thought you might be interested in this image.
Signature: Tanya

Scorpion with Brood devours Spider

Scorpion with Brood devours Wolf Spider

Dear Tanya,
You are our new hero.  These Food Chain images are awesome, but we have some questions.  Please tell us more about this Scorpion that appears to have been feeding indoors.  Was it living inside your home?  Also, the lighting is very different on the two images, with the redder image having more critical focus.  Why are the lighting conditions different?  We found a very similar looking Scorpion on The Flying Kiwi, but it is listed as unidentified.  Since the head of the spider has already been devoured, we didn’t think we would be able to identify your Wolf Spider, but we found an image on Scott Leslie’s site that looks very similar to the Wolf Spider in your images.  Alas, it is not identified beyond the family.  We love that you have supplied images to our site that document the maternal behavior of Scorpions.

Scorpion with Brood devours Wolf Spider

Scorpion with Brood devours Wolf Spider

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Epic bug battle
Location: Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness, Northeastern Oregon, in a river canyon
August 14, 2014 6:56 pm
Dear bugman,
In late April of 2009, my best friend and I went backpacking in the remote Wenaha-Tucannon wilderness of Northeastern Oregon, along the Wenaha river canyon. It was a spectacular trip made even more spectacular when it ended in near disaster; during a flash flood, my backpack with all of its photographic equipment was swept away and we narrowly escaped the same fate. Remarkably, the backpack was found one month ago by some hikers who pulled out one of the photo memory cards and brought it to the local sheriff, who tracked me down on facebook.
ANYWAYS, during the intervening 5 years, one of our greatest regrets about losing the photos was that we had witnessed an epic struggle between the largest spider I’ve ever seen in Oregon, and an enormous (for Oregon) long, cylindrical fly with a bright orange head that I had never seen before and couldn’t easily identify with online searches. We doubted anyone would ever believe how completely legendary and unbelievable the struggle was as these two titans locked themselves into a dance of death for at least 10 minutes. They did not care that we were there one bit. The battle was too fierce. We were able to get right up next to them with cameras and take photos….. and now we finally have those photos back! Unfortunately, my good camera with a macro lens was permanently lost, so the photos we have are only ‘decent,’ but I think they will work. I’ll be forever grateful if you can help give even more life to this newly revived fabled cha pter of my life by identifying these two mighty contestants.
Thanks so much,
John Felder
P.S. If it helps, I also have a low quality video – no fine details in focus but it give a better sense of the size because of the movement that’s visible.
Signature: John Felder

Wolf Spider eats Giant Salmonfly

Wolf Spider eats Giant Salmonfly

Dear John,
If forced to choose which we are more impressed with, your amazing images or your fantastic story, we are going to have to go with the story, which is why we are featuring this posting on our scrolling feature bar.  The fact that you witnessed this “Epic Bug Battle” and then lost the images and then reclaimed the images after five years is truly an amazing story worth relaying.  The spider is a Wolf Spider in the family Lycosidae, and based on the size and eye arrangement (see BugGuide) we believe it is in the genus
Hogna.  The Carolina Wolf Spider, Hogna carolinensis, is found in Oregon, and you can see images of it on BugGuide which states:  “Considered to be the largest wolf spider in North America.” The Carolina Wolf Spider is also represented on the Spiders.Us site which states:  “This species is uncommon in the Pacific Northwest, but we have included those states in our range listing because it is still possible to find them there.”  We are going to check with spider expert Mandy Howe to get her opinion on the species.  The prey is a Giant Stonefly in the genus Pteronarcys, and it is most likely the California SalmonflyPteronarcys californica.  Here is an image from BugGuide.  One interesting note is that this sighting obviously occurred near the river, which is the correct habitat for the California Salmonfly, however, Spiders.Us indicates of the Carolina Wolf Spider:  “This spider is typically found in arid habitats such as deserts, prairies, glades, and open fields and pastures.”  Thanks again for providing your fascinating story for the entertainment and awe of our readership.  On a final note, we really hope we hear back from Mandy regarding the identity of this Wolf Spider because it may represent and new or little documented species as it was observed in such a remote location.

Wolf Spider eats Giant Salmonfly

Wolf Spider eats Giant Salmonfly

Hi Eric,
This is a truly amazing story with some wonderful images.  I’m not certain how good you are with Spiders, but since you lived in Oregon, I am hoping you can provide some input.  Can you confirm or correct the identity of this Wolf Spider:  Carolina Wolf Spider or other???  I have also contacted Mandy Howe.
thanks
Daniel

Eric Eaton Disagrees
Hi, Daniel:
Definitely “other.”  I’m not even sure there are any recent records of the Carolina Wolf Spider from Oregon.  Hopefully Mandy can put it to genus.
Eric

Ed. Note:  We are guessing that Eric agrees that this is a Wolf Spider, but not that it is a Carolina Wolf Spider.

Wow!  Thanks so much!!!!
I found the salmonfly online shortly after I submitted the photo and then I felt guilty for potentially wasting your time, so I’m glad you liked it!!!
A couple of things that add up based on what you’ve told me:
1) the habitat for Hogna Carolinensis:  the area around the Wenaha river is usually quite arid in terms of ambient humidity throughout the year and probably rainfall as well.  It’s the type of canyon that’s covered in dry brown grasses, rocks, and pine trees in the gulches but not on the exposed ridges.  In spring, the river swells from the melting snowfall of winter in the mountains, but rain is usually fairly sparse. EXCEPT for the week we were there, when it rained almost nonstop, causing the flood conditions and raising the river to probably historic levels.  So I think that if Hogna Carolinensis likes arid conditions, it probably likes the Wenaha area.
2). From what I’ve read, emergence of salmonfly larvae from the water tends to occur when rivers are at peak or rapid flow, which was definitely the case at the time we were there, further confirming the identity of the salmonfly.
I am going to send you a link to the (shoddy) video I have. Quality is poor but you can see their movements as they battle. Very compelling.
The hikers who found my pack were unable to open the rusted body of my metal dSLR to remove the memory card, so we unfortunately only have the lower quality images that my friend took with his plastic lower-megapixel point and shoot. Otherwise, we would have glorious, high definition, macro lens shots and video, but at least we have something.
Thanks again for the help and for featuring the story. You guys are great. I’ll send a link to the video when I get home.
Best,
John

Here it is:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iQSxBXFy6c
Cheers,
John

Thanks for the update John.  We were under the impression that the images you sent were from the card retrieved from the missing camera.  Your most recent email indicates that you were always in the possession of the images.  Do you by chance have a dorsal view looking down on the top of the spider?

No no, your initial impression was correct.  I only just got the images this week after not having them for 5 years.
What I was attempting to convey is that there were two cameras in the missing backpack and the hikers who found it only retrieved the memory card from one of the cameras, which happened to be the poorer quality one.  If they had been able to get the images out of the other camera (they didn’t because it was rusted shut and they couldn’t get the memory card out and didn’t want to carry out the entire camera), we would have been dealing with better quality images.  That’s all.  The story, as it is posted on your website, is completely accurate.
Here are the closest I have to a dorsal view (focus not great):
John

Wolf Spider eats Giant Salmonfly

Wolf Spider eats Giant Salmonfly

Thanks for the clarification.  Bummer:  Too bad they didn’t bust the camera body to get the memory card.  Thanks for providing the dorsal view.  We wanted to be able to show the markings on the carapace.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Huge crab-shell shaped spider in Ecuador’s Andes Mountains
Location: Cuenca, Azuay, Ecuador (Andes Mountains)
May 1, 2014 4:52 am
A few months ago while on a hike in the Andes we spotted a large spider hole – with this huge spider inside. The crab-shell shape was a first for us. One of our readers suggested that it’s a Ancylometes (giant fishing spider).
We have a video of the spider in the url below – and we would love to know something about it.
http://www.gringosabroad.com/red-fanged-tarantula-cuenca-ecuador/
Thanks so much!
Signature: Bryan Haines

Wolf Spider

Wolf Spider

Hi Bryan,
Based on the eye pattern (see BugGuide), we believe this is a Wolf Spider in the family Lycosidae.  Large individuals might bite, but they are not considered dangerous.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to provide a comment with a genus or species name.

Wolf Spider

Wolf Spider

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination