Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Wolf Spider (Trochosa terricola)

click for large

I found this spider cleaning out some of the brush alongside my garage. It was a fairly large specimen, about 3/4" in diameter. It was also a fair bit slower than the normal wolf spiders I run into. I would almost say it moved at a lumbering pace. It didn't seem very afraid of me, or particularly aggressive either.

Wolf spiders are members of the family Lycosidae. They are robust and agile hunters with good eyesight. They live mostly solitary lives and hunt alone. Some are opportunistic wanderer hunters, pouncing upon prey as they find it or chasing it over short distances. Others lie in wait for passing prey, often from or near the mouth of a burrow.

Their eyes reflect light well, and one method of finding them is to hunt at night using a flashlight strapped to one's forehead so that the light from the flashlight is reflected from their eyes directly back toward its source. This is also especially helpful because the wolf spiders are nocturnal and will be out hunting for food, making it easier to find them.

Because they depend on camouflage for protection, they do not have the flashy appearance of some other kinds of spiders. In general their coloration is appropriate to their favorite habitat.

Raynox DCR-250 mounted on my Panasonic Lumix FZ8

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