By Denise D. Greaves, Ph.D.
All photos Â© Denise D. Greaves, 2011
I recently found a spider in the house that definitely was not an ordinary house spider. It turns out that it was a wolf spider (family Lycosidae); since there are over 2,000 species of wolf spider, I have not yet had the time to see whether I can find an exact identification. Wolf spiders are stout and hairy, have relatively thick legs, and are usually colored in tones of gray and/or brown. This body of this specimen (i.e., not including legs) was a bit under an inch long.
Wolf spiders do not use a web to catch prey. They have better eyesight than most spiders; this, combined with their body strength, enables them to catch their victims by pouncing. Their eight eyes, four anterior and four posterior, are rather prominent. The four anterior eyes are spaced tightly in a row. The posterior eyes are larger, two positioned above the anterior eyes and two farther back on the head and facing sideways and rearward.
All photos were taken with a Nikon D-5000.