Don't Be Scared. Wolf Spiders Are Harmless

Did you see a big, hairy spider crawling quickly across the ground? It was probably a wolf spider.

A wolf spider. (Photo via Shutterstock)

Because they are big and hairy, wolf spiders can look scary! But don’t worry. They are harmless. Wolf spiders aren’t aggressive, but they may bite if provoked. Their bites are not dangerous to humans, though.

Here’s some more information about these spiders.

Fun Facts

  • All spiders have eight legs. In addition, most spiders have eight eyes. Wolf spiders have eight eyes arranged in three rows: one row of four eyes and two rows of two eyes. The two eyes in the middle row are a lot bigger than their other eyes.

  • Most wolf spiders are dark in color, but their color can range from black to gray to brown. They can be between ½ inch long and 2 inches long.

  • One more thing that adds to their somewhat scary looking appearance is their fangs. That’s right, wolf spiders have mouthparts, called chelicerae, that look like fangs!

  • When we think of spiders, we usually think of spider webs. But not all spiders make webs, and wolf spiders are among those that do not. Spiders that make webs use them to catch their prey. Wolf spiders don’t need webs to catch prey because they chase it down instead.

  • Even though they don’t make spider webs, wolf spiders do make silk. All spiders can make silk, and they use it for many different reasons.

  • Speaking of their prey, wolf spiders mainly eat insects, but they also eat some small spiders. Like most spiders, wolf spiders are carnivores, which means that they eat other animals.

  • Spiders are born from eggs. Female wolf spiders carry their eggs around in a sac they make from silk. Once the babies hatch, they climb onto their mothers’ backs and ride around with her until they are old enough to survive on their own. Wolf spiders can have more than 100 babies at a time!

  • Female wolf spiders are typically larger than males. The females usually live longer too. Male wolf spiders live about a year, but females can live for several years.

  • Wolf spiders live all across the world. Different species of spiders live in different types of places, but you can find wolf spiders in deserts, rainforests, prairies and just about every place in between.

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