May 23, 2010
Hi Bugman, This giant spider was on my front porch one evening. My initial thought was “what an ugly, huge, lumpy, hairy spider.” I then realized part of her hugeness, lumpiness and hairiness was due to the fact that her body was COMPLETELY COVERED by baby spiders! I left her alone, realizing that she and her brood would be most helpful in controlling the local insects. Her body was about 1 1/2 inches long (not counting legs or baby spiders.) Any idea what kind she might be? Thanks for your help!
Friend to Spider Families
Gainesville, FL, USA
This maternal behavior is distinctive to Wolf Spiders in the family Lycosidae. The orange chelicera are barely visible in your photo, and that distinguishing feature coupled with the large size indicates that this is the Carolina Wolf Spider, Hogna carolinensis, which BugGuide indicates is: “Considered to be the largest wolf spider in North America.“