The Find-a-Spider Guide

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Wolf spider

Fact Box
Species:
Artoriopsis expolita (VF)
(or a closely related species; formerly Trochosa expolita)
Family:
Lycosidae
Body length:
female: 8 mm
male: 6 mm
Habitat:
In a shallow open burrow but usually found wandering
Toxicity:
May be too small to cause human illness but handle with caution
Artoriopsis expolita
Click to enlarge
Another female

This species has surface markings quite similar to those of other members of the same family, although it is smaller than most Lycosa species. It is very difficult to distinguish from other Arteriopsis species and is widely found across Australia. In South Queensland the species most likely to be confused with it is probably Artoriopsis melissae.

Arteriopsis species are notable vagrants and can often be found outside the burrow foraging for insects. It is very common in lawns and the males often wander into houses in spring and summer.

Note: The Lycosidae of Australia are very difficult to identify without the aid of a stereo microscope and extensive taxonomic details. Surface markings can be quite variable for a given species, from specimen to specimen, from male to female, and from juvenile to adult. Over the last decade or so a major revision of the Australian wolf spider fauna has been undertaken by Dr. Volker Framenau and his colleagues. This revision is not yet complete so some of the lycosid identifications shown on this website are likely to be incorrect either now or in the near future. At the end of 2012 the most reliable sources of information/photos about the Australian lycosids can be found at the following two websites:

http://www.lycosidae.info/identification/australia/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/australianspiders/collections/72157622669463297/

Spider(s) with a very similar appearance: Many other Australian lycosids, including Artoriopsis melissae.


Email Ron Atkinson for more information.    Last updated 29 December 2012