20 Interesting Facts about Wolf Spiders and Their Young.
The Wolf Spider, a member of the Lycosidae family, comes from a Greek word that means “Wolf” because it was once believed that it hunted in packs like wolves. While a lot of spiders make and live in webs, the wolf spider lives on the ground or in borrows. One of the ways it uses its web is wrapping its young in a sac and carrying them on her abdomen until they hatch.
Below are interesting facts that I hope you will enjoy about the wolf spiders and their young.
1) A wolf spider has eight eyes in three rows on her head. Two on each side of her head, two large eyes in the center and four smaller eyes underneath the large eyes.
2) A wolf spider has four pairs of jointed, hairy legs. The hair on their legs will pick up any disturbances around them, warning them of predators or letting them know of incoming prey.
3) The most dangerous predator of the wolf spider is the wasp. It will sting and paralyze the wolf spider, carry it to her nest, lay one egg on the spider and the larvae will have live food to eat off of while maturing. The wasp keeps the spider alive as long as the larvae need it for food.
4) Other predators of the wolf spider consist of screech and elf owls, coyotes, frogs, toads, salamanders, snakes and lizards.
5) Wolf spiders have been seen skating across the top of the water and diving into the water to catch insects and small fish.
6) Although a male wolf spider will only live for a year the female can live up to two years.
7) Wolf spiders are found all over the world. They have been seen in woodlands, wet forest, shrub lands, meadows and gardens.
There are between 150-200 species of “Wolf Spider” in Northern America.
9) The wolf spider can run quickly and will ambush or “run down” its prey. Insects may include grasshoppers, crickets, ants, roaches, beetles as well as other spiders.
10) The wolf spider is a black, brown and tan color and uses camouflage to hide from predators and prey and will use venom to detain their prey once caught.
11) Some wolf spiders will flip over on their backs to hold their prey with their legs while biting the prey and rendering it helpless.
12) When a male approaches the female for mating purposes, he does so with caution. He is never sure if he will be accepted by the female or be her lunch.
13) The male will use vibrations and movements to let the female know that he is wanting to mate.
14) Once the female has accepted the male as a mating partner, she will continue to hunt with the male still on her back as he is continuing the mating process.
15) The female wolf spider will lay her eggs and wrap them in a round silk ball and attach them to her abdomen. She may continue mating but will always keep her young on her abdomen until they hatch.
16) Borrowing wolf spiders may place their egg sac in the tunnel at night and guard the entrance, but will bring them out during the day. She is very protective of her egg sacs.
17) When the babies are ready to be born, mom will tear open the egg sac with her fangs.
18) Once the babies are born they quickly climb up on “moms” back where they stay until they shed their first skin and are ready to head out on their own.
19) While on their mothers back, they do not eat but only drink water found in the morning dewdrops.
20) If a baby is swept off of the mothers back, the mother will stop while the baby quickly returns.
The next time you see a wolf spider, check to see if she is carrying a brood on her back. It is an awesome site to see. Check out this awesome video showing the babies moving around on the back of their mama.