Currently viewing the category: "Wolf Spiders"

Subject:  Large Spider
Geographic location of the bug:  Calca, Sacred Valley Peru
Date: 10/20/2019
Time: 07:50 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
While at a yoga retreat in the Andes, this morning I was on my way to meditation practice and I saw this beauty  right next to my shoes. Please tell me who it is, and if they may also enjoy morning meditation and asana practice.
How you want your letter signed:  Melanie on the Irish Chain

Wolf Spider

Dear Melanie on the Irish Chain,
This sure looks like a harmless Wolf Spider to us.  Wolf Spiders are hunting spiders that do not build a web to trap prey, so they are often found wandering at night in search of prey.  A very similar looking Peruvian Wolf Spider can be found on the blog Spiders in Nature, but you need to scroll down to find it.

Subject:  Spider wasp and prey
Geographic location of the bug:  Charleston, Illinois
Date: 05/15/2019
Time: 01:11 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Saw you were looking for a image of this spider and its prey. Just a cell phone picture but shows key features.
How you want your letter signed:  Christopher S

Spider Wasp and Wolf Spider Prey

Dear Christopher,
Thanks so much for submitting your awesome image of a Spider Wasp,
Entypus unifasciatus, and its Wolf Spider prey.  The Wolf Spider will not be eaten by the Spider Wasp.  She feeds on nectar from flowers, and the paralyzed Wolf Spider will provide fresh food for a larval Spider Wasp which will eat its paralyzed meal alive.

Subject:  Large black and white spider
Geographic location of the bug:  Salt Lake City foothills, ~5200′
Date: 09/30/2018
Time: 03:26 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Almost stepped on this guy and he reared up to let me know not to mess with him.  Maybe 3″ across.  He held that pose the whole time I was looking at him, turning to face me.  He was on a dry trail in a scrub oak forest interspersed with grass.  I can’t anything similar online and am curious who he is.
How you want your letter signed:  Dan R

Carolina Wolf Spider

Dear Dan,
This is an awesome image of a Carolina Wolf Spider,
Hogna carolinensis, in a threat position.  Here is a BugGuide image for comparison.  According to BugGuide:  “Orange paturons (chelicera) and black around the the ‘knees’ ventrally are characteristics of the species” which your image nicely illustrates, and “Considered to be the largest wolf spider in North America.”  Despite the threat position, Wolf Spiders are not considered dangerous to humans, and despite the common name, the Carolina Wolf Spider has a range well beyond the Carolinas.

Subject:  Carolina Wolf Spider?
Geographic location of the bug:  South Denver, Colorado
Date: 09/24/2018
Time: 12:19 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
This big guy has been hanging out in our well for two days now. He is about 2-3 inches in length (a little longer than a sharpie pen cap). He seems very large for a Colorado spider, largest I’ve seen in years! He’s mostly grey on top with black markings (black X on abdomen); on bottom he is black and grey banded. He’s also got some cool gold/orange fangs! Also seems like his markings have changed from picture 2 to 3. Pictures were taken day apart, second day about 10 degrees cooler. The only spider I can figure it is is a form of a wolf spider.. what do you think? Thank you!
How you want your letter signed:  To Sarah,

Carolina Wolf Spider

Dear Sarah,
We agree that this certainly looks like a Carolina Wolf Spider which is pictured on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Orange paturons (chelicera) and black around the the ‘knees’ ventrally are characteristics of the species.(Jeff Hollenbeck)” and that is exactly what your ventral view illustrates.

Carolina Wolf Spider

Subject:  Spider Wasp
Geographic location of the bug:  Omaha, Nebraska
Date: 08/29/2018
Time: 03:44 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I thought this was one bug when I saw it out the corner of my eye. Nope! It was a wasp carrying a big spider.
How you want your letter signed: Alissa Apel

Spider Wasp with Prey

Dear Alissa,
Your images of a female Spider Wasp with her prey are awesome.  The Spider wasp is
 Entypus unifasciatus and the prey is likely a large Wolf Spider.

Spider Wasp with Prey

Subject:  Spider Wasp: Entypus unifasciatus
Geographic location of the bug:  Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Date: 08/22/2018
Time: 06:23 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Encountered this Spider wasp attempting to haul off his bounty today…wolf spider. A rather large wolf spider at that.
Respect for anything that takes care of these nasty spiders for me.
How you want your letter signed:  Stefanie

Spider Wasp with Wolf Spider Prey

Dear Stefanie,
Only female Spider Wasps hunt for prey to feed the brood.  We agree your wasp is
Entypus unifasciatus, and according to BugGuide:  “Females dig a burrow that ends in a terminal chamber off of the side of a mammal burrow or large crack in the ground. The serrations on the hind tibiae are used to aid the movement of soil out of the burrow entrance. The position in which the egg is laid is unknown. Larvae feed on one large spider and, as in all Pompilids that have one generation per year, overwinter as pupae.”

Correction:  January 23, 2018
In reference to the August 22, 2018 photo of Entypus unifasciatus from Oklahoma City, OK by “Stephanie,” the host spider is Syspira sp. (Prowling spider)(Miturgidae). Of 414 host records for this species of wasp, this is the first host record (1/414, 0.02%) for this family of spider. We do, however, have the same genus and family host record for the congener Entypus aratus from Mexico. We should like to acknowledge “What’s That Bug” and Stephanie for this extremely rare and highly unusual host record. Does Stephanie have a last name to accompany this record in our forthcoming publication on spider wasps? Thank you. Keep up the good work.

Retraction of Correction:  March 4, 2019
When I first saw the image I thought it was a lycosid (wolf spider).  I sent it to an arachnologist at the CAS and he identified the spider as Genus Syspira, Family Miturgidae.  Since then I have consulted two other arachnologists, one from SDSU in CA, and they both informed me that the genus Syspira does not occur in Oklahoma.  They checked hundreds of museum records for this genus through a third arachnologist at Colorado State University and the genus does not occur in SE CO nor in N Texas.  They think the spider is in the genus Hogna (Lycosidae) but cannot be certain because, unfortunately, they cannot see the eye arrangement from the side view photograph.  I’ve sent your higher resolution out for additional study but, since the genus Syspira does not occur in Oklahoma, this is probably a moot exercise.  Thank you for your effort in aiding this identification dilemma.