Burrowing Wolf Spider ?
Location: cheney ks
September 18, 2011 5:42 pm
I have been finding these holes on my property this summer while watering the garden.
I decided to investigate and dig up the hole and see what type of insect was making these holes.
I believe it’s a Burrowing Wolf Spider from looking at photos on your site but I could be wrong .
Signature: Chris Harris
Thank you for a wonderful submission. We opened your email yesterday afternoon, but we knew this was going to be a labor intense posting and we did not want to rush through it, so we waited until after some social commitments were fulfilled. We are very excited that you submitted a photo of the hole as well as its occupant. We agree that this is a Wolf Spider, and we are relatively certain that it is in the genus Hogna, and though we believe it is a Carolina Wolf Spider, Hogna carolinensis, we have a few nagging doubts.
The hairy orange chelicera or fangs and the other facial characteristics are a near perfect match to a Carolina Wolf Spider photo posted to BugGuide, but not all the Carolina Wolf Spiders posted there have such distinctive orange fangs. The BugGuide info page on the species provides this information: “The carapace is dark brown with gray hairs (lighter in males) and usually without distinct markings. The abdomen is brown with a somewhat darker median stripe. (1) Orange paturons (chelicera) and black around the the ‘knees’ ventrally are characteristics of the species.(Jeff Hollenbeck)” The dark abdominal coloration on your specimen does not seem to match any of the photos posted to BugGuide of the Carolina Wolf Spider, the majority of which have the darker median stripe. Another confusing difference for your individual is that back of the knees are not black, but appear to be a lighter almost orange color. We don’t know how much of this can be attributed to individual variation. There are also many more species of Hogna listed on the genus page on BugGuide that are not represented by photos. Kansas is listed as a known location for the Carolina Wolf Spider which is reported to be the largest Wolf Spider in North America. BugGuide does not have any information on the burrowing habits of the species or the genus for that matter, however, we did locate some other links that mention the burrows. The Carolina Wolf Spider Care Sheet on the PetBugs website has some helpful information including: “Terrestrial, but will burrow to some extent.” The Off Beat Pets website also contains helpful information including: “Carolina wolf spider is terrestrial and does not build webs. It spends most of the time on the ground but may burrow to some extent.” We have taken the liberty of deleting your street address to keep poachers who may want to collect and sell your Burrowing Wolf Spiders to collectors. Again, thank you for providing us with a wonderful posting.