Subject: Large black and white spider
Geographic location of the bug: Salt Lake City foothills, ~5200′
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
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.