Subject: Massive wolf spider?
Location: Bloomington, Indiana
March 30, 2014 1:45 pm
Hello! I found this massive spider back in October of 2007, in Bloomington, Indiana. I thought it was a plastic Halloween toy at first because it was so huge, but when my dog stepped on it (hence the missing leg) it ran, and I realized it was the biggest spider I’d ever seen in person. I tried to identify it, but couldn’t find a spider that had both an orange stripe and banded legs. My pictures are a little grainy since they were taken on an old cell phone camera, but the head-on one seems to show at least one huge eye. Also, for size reference, my shoes were a size 8! Thanks for reading and I hope you can identify this spider I’ve been wondering about for years.
We believe your Wolf Spider might be in the genus Hogna, which include the largest North American Wolf Spiders. See BugGuide for images from the genus Hogna. We will try to get the opinion of Spider expert Mandy Howe.
Continued searching led us to this image of Tigrosa aspersa on Bugguide, and we believe it is a perfect match. According to BugGuide: ” Hogna(Tigrosa) aspersa females are 18 to 25 millimeters in length, and the males are 16 to 18 millimeters. They are similar to H. carolinensis in body color but have a distinct narrow line of yellow hairs on the carapace in the vicinity of the eyes. The legs are banded with a lighter brown color at the joints. The males are much lighter in color than the females, and only their third and fourth pairs of legs are banded with a lighter color.”
5:07 PM (2 hours ago)
Looking around on BugGuide, I think it might be in the Tigrosa family (maybe Tigrosa aspersa?) which used to be a part of Hogna, from what I can tell. This looks very much like it.
Ah, looks like our emails crossed paths! Yes, I think that’s exactly it. Thank you so much! It’s great to know what it (she?) finally is.
Based on what we have read on BugGuide, we believe this is a female spider as they are considerably larger than the males of the species.
Confirmation from Mandy Howe
Hi Daniel, sorry about the late reply again — but yep, I think Tigrosa aspersa is spot on for that female wolf spider. 🙂