Forest Wolf Spider (Lycosa gulosa)

Forest Wolf Spider (Lycosa gulosa)

The Forest Wolf Spider (Lycosa gulosa) is a spider in the Wolf Spider Family (Lycosidae) and order Araneae. The family and genus names are from the Greek for "wolf." The species name is from the Latin for "gullet." The order name is from the Latin for "spider." These spiders are common in the wooded area of French Hill Pond among the ground litter. Wolf spiders do not weave webs but will spin egg sacks and excrete a drag line before pouncing on prey. The Rabid Wolf Spider (Lycosa rabida) is very similar to the Forest Wolf Spider but is lighter in color.

The Forest Wolf Spider is ⅜ to ½ inch (9.5 to 12.7 millimeters) long. The female is larger than the male. Forest Wolf Spiders are dark brown with a yellow-gray stripe atop their cephalothorax (the head and thorax part of the body) flanked by dark stripes. The abdomen has two incomplete black stripes on the front part. The pedipalps (leg-like appendages on the cephalothorax used to seize prey and transfer sperm) are almost as large as the legs and hairy.

This spider hunts small insects at night. The female carries the egg sack under her until the eggs hatch. The spiderlings will ride on the female until they are mature enough to be on their own. The venom of the Forest Wolf Spider is not a threat to humans.

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