The Find-a-Spider Guide

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Wolf spider

Fact Box
Venatrix furcillata (R. McKay)
formerly Lycosa furcillata (RM)
Body length:
female: 13 mm
male: 9 mm
Lives in a burrow in the ground with an open and unadorned entrance but also often found running above ground
Uncertain; may cause mild illness but probably is too small to be dangerous to humans
Venatrix furcillata
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The male
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Communal web
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Spiders on web
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Web, close view

This relatively common lycosid species has a distinctive tapering mark that runs the length of its dorsal abdomen and it appears that few if any other Australian Venatrix species have this character. It is a common species in Eastern Queensland and NSW.

Wolf spiders are notable vagrants and can sometimes be found outside the burrow foraging for insects. However, as the photos on this page show, at least some lycosid species have the tendency to migrate to new locations when threatened by flooding and may end up on a 'communal' web that contains large numbers of individual spiders. This massed web phenomenon is well known for some members of the Family Linyphiidae but is not often seen for lycosid species.

Spider(s) with a very similar appearance: A number of other small lycosid species, especially Venatrix species.

Email Ron Atkinson for more information.    Last updated 16 May 2017.