A wolf spider is a jumping spider. The name comes from its habit of stalking its prey, like wolves. These spiders hunt ground-bound insects and other small animals.
Wolf spiders are found in many areas worldwide. They are usually brown or gray, but can also be orange or tan. Most wolf spiders are about 3-30 millimeters in length. In North America, there are over 200 species. Some of these species are endangered, though.
These spiders are very beneficial, but they can also be a nuisance. It’s a good idea to leave them alone outdoors. However, if you have them inside, keep them in a cup or cup-like container, so they do not wander away.
Wolf spiders are large, but they don’t bite humans. Instead, they inject a tiny amount of venom into their prey. This kills the worm within minutes.
Unlike other spiders, wolf spiders do not spin webs. Their eyesight is excellent. They can also see at night. So, they are able to detect their prey when it’s close.
Female wolf spiders can lay hundreds of eggs. Once they have hatched, the young spiderlings stick to the mother’s back for several weeks. They are fed by the yolks of their eggs. When they are big enough, the young wolf spiders climb off.
Depending on the size of the wolf spider, they may eat other spiders or larger animals. Small reptiles and salamanders have been known to eat multiple varieties of wolf spiders.