Wolf Spider – Lycosa SP
Lycosa SP also known as a Wolf Spider is a member of the Lycosidae family and will be found throughout Australia. Wolf Spiders have excellent eyesight and are known to chase and pounce on their prey but they will also wait in their burrow at the opening waiting for prey to pass by. Wolf Spiders Burrows are made up of leaves and other fallen debris from surrounding trees and shrubs or they will dig a burrow in the ground with a trap door.
Identification of Wolf Spiders
There are many species of the Wolf Spiders and will range in size depending on the species. The two most common species we have here in Australia are the Lycosa Godeffroyi and L. Leuckartii. Wolf Spiders are typically a dark brown or grey color with orange, brown, grey and black markings on their body but sometimes you will get a Wolf Spider which is a salmon pink color depending on the species. Wolf Spiders have a hairy body with long legs that are attached to the cephalothorax, on the front part of the cephalothorax are the mouth with fangs. They have very good eyesight and have eight eyes consisting in three rows, four smaller eyes at the front of the spider and four is on the top of the spiders head. The female Wolf Spider can grow up to 35mm while the male Wolf Spider is smaller growing to 20mm long.
Habitats of Wolf Spider
Wolf Spiders are very unique as they have the ability to not only make burrows in the ground about 25cm Deep but also use leaves and other sort of debris to make a burrow above ground to catch unsuspecting prey. Wolf Spiders do not spin webs. Wolf Spiders can be found in back yards of residential properties, shrublands, woodlands, grasslands, wet coastal, forests and alpine meadows. Wolf Spiders are known to be wanders and will wander away from their burrows leaving their trap door open while looking for prey.
Reproduction of Wolf Spider
The reproduction of a Wolf Spider often takes place at night outside the female Wolf Spiders burrow. The male Wolf Spider will court the female Wolf Spider by waving his pedipalps and front legs in the air, the male Wolf Spider will than mount the Female Wolf Spider and inserts his left pedipalp into the left of her genitalia and vice versa leaving a silk ball which has deposited around a hundred eggs. The Female Wolf Spider will than eat the male Wolf Spider once it has mated. The female Wolf Spider will than carry the spiderlings on her back until they are ready to balloon disperse and look for their own food and water. Wolf Spiders live around two years in the wild.
Diet for Wolf Spiders
Wolf Spiders will eat ants, other spiders, crickets, grasshoppers, frogs, small lizards, small mice and tiny birds, now the Wolf Spider can’t actually eat the meat but will feed on the liquid of its prey.