- There are 125 species of wolf spider, ranging in size from half an inch to 2 inches. They have eight eyes, giving them excellent eyesight which they use along with an acute sense of touch to catch prey. Wolf spiders are hairy and typically gray-brown with a range of markings on their body. This species is often mistaken for the brown recluse spider, a highly venomous spider rarely if ever encountered in most parts of Ohio.
- Wolf spiders are found in a wide range of environments. In Ohio, the likely habitat of the wolf spider is shrub land, woodland, fields and gardens. The beach wolf spider prefers sandy environments and can be found on riverbank gravel beds. Although most are wanderers, with no permanent home, some wolf spiders live in burrows, often incorporating a trapdoor system to their nest.
- Wolf spiders will bite when threatened, usually leaving an uncomfortable stinging mark on the skin. Although venomous, the poison is not life threatening for humans. Although some species are believed to cause injuries that are medically significant, wolf spiders found in Ohio are not regarded as dangerous. Normal symptoms of a bite include swelling, mild pain and itching.
- Females carry their large, globular egg sac attached to spinnerets under their abdomen. Once hatched, the spiderlings climb onto their mother's back and stay there several days before scattering. Flies, mosquitoes, crickets and beetle larvae are all prey for a wolf spider. They will also eat other spiders. Although they mostly hunt for their own prey, wolf spiders sometimes scavenge by feeding off of insect carcasses.