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Wolf Spider

Wolf Spider (Lycosidae family: Lycosa species)

Wolf Spider

The Wolf Spider

The Wolf Spider is found throughout Australia, living in small burrows or under leaves, bark, or other debris. They are hardy spiders, and live under almost any conditions. Wolf Spiders can be found in suburban gardens to desolate inland regions. They are able to dig burrows up to 30 cms deep by using their jaws. Some species create a trap door on their burrow, and others are known to cover the entrance with a pebble (which also prevents flooding of the burrow).

There are many species of the Wolf Spider. The two most common species to be found in Australia are Lycosa godeffroyi and Lycosa leuckartii. These spiders obtained the label 'wolf' as they are known to stalk their prey such as a wild canine would. They have eight eyes in a 2-2-4 formation (see photo), two at the back, two at the centre and four in front.

The Wolf Spider feeds on other insects such as crickets, lizards and etcetera. It is also known to take down larger prey such as mice, small birds and even cane toads.

Apart from their scary appearance, Wolf Spiders are not aggressive arachnids. If disturbed however, the wolf spider may defend itself by biting. There have been no reported deaths from the Wolf Spider, and no antivenin is required after a bite. However, if a human is bitten by a Wolf Spider, medical advice should be sought. Wolf Spiders can cause necrosis (rotting of the skin). The venom of a Wolf Spider is powerful enough to kill a fully grown dog within a few hours.

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