The Find-a-Spider Guide

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Wolf spider

Fact Box
Species:
br Lycosa godeffroyi (QM)
(or Tasmanicosa godeffroyi?)
Family:
Lycosidae
Body length:
female: 27 mm
male: 25 mm
Habitat:
In an open burrow that typically descends 10-15 cm then runs parallel with the surface for another 15 cm. The entrance is circular and may be kept open by webbing and leaf litter
Toxicity:
Will bite if handled and venom is mildly toxic
Lycosa godeffroyi
Click to enlarge
The male
Click to enlarge
Spiderlings
Click to enlarge
Burrow entrance

Dr. Volker Framenau has indicated the generic name of this species should be Tasmanicosa but as of December 2015 the World Spider Catalog has not recognized this name change.

Most wolf spider species have distinctive patterns of dark markings on their upper body surfaces and a pair of large eyes (plus six small ones) that give them good forwards vision. Lycosa godeffroyi is the most common species of Lycosa found on the Darling Downs although several other species with rather similar markings can be found in the same region. Like other wolf spiders it tends to wait just inside the entrance of the burrow and can often be seen there (especially at night when the eyes reflect the light of a torch) or can be attracted to the surface by a grass stalk inserted into the burrow entrance.

It is claimed that some lycosid species build a door to close off the burrow. This is not the case for Lycosa godeffroyi, but a thin film of web is often placed across the entrance after the spider has mated.

Wolf spiders are notable vagrants and can sometimes be found outside the burrow foraging for insects. Males often enter low-set houses in spring searching for a mate. Females produce a white or pale blue spherical egg sac and this may be carried around attached to the spinnerets. When the spiderlings hatch out they crawl onto the female's upper surfaces, almost completely covering them. It is presumed this serves as an efficient means of dispersing the young spiders.

Spider(s) with a very similar appearance: Many other lycosid species and also some members of several other spider families.


Email Ron Atkinson for more information.    Last updated 14 November 2015.