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Lycosidae sp.

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Cladus: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Cladus: Holozoa
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Protostomia
Cladus: Ecdysozoa
Cladus: Panarthropoda
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Classis: Arachnida
Ordo: Araneae
Subordo: Opisthothelae
Infraordo: Araneomorphae
Taxon: Neocribellatae
Series: Entelegynae
Superfamilia: Lycosoidea

Familia: Lycosidae
Subfamiliae (10): Allocosinae – Artoriinae – Evippinae – Lycosinae – Pardosinae – Piratinae – Sosippinae – Tricassinae – Venoniinae – Wadicosinae
Overview of genera

Acantholycosa – Adelocosa – Agalenocosa – Aglaoctenus – Algidus – Allocosa – Allotrochosina – Alopecosa – Alopecosella – Amblyothele – Anomalomma – Anomalosa – Anoteropsis – Arctosa – Arctosippa – Arctosomma – Artoria – Artoriellula – Artoriopsis – Aulonia – Auloniella – Bogdocosa – Brevilabus – Bristowiella – Camptocosa – Caporiaccosa – Caspicosa – Crocodilosa – Cynosa – Dejerosa – Deliriosa – Diahogna – Diapontia – Dingosa – Dolocosa – Donacosa – Dorjulopirata – Draposa – Dzhungarocosa – Edenticosa – Evippa – Evippomma – Foveosa – Geolycosa – Gladicosa – Gnatholycosa – Gulocosa – Hesperocosa – Hippasa – Hippasella – Hogna – Hognoides – Hyaenosa – Hygrolycosa – Katableps – Knoelle – Loculla – Lobizon – Lycosa – Lycosella – Lysania – Mainosa – Malimbosa – Margonia – Megarctosa – Melecosa – Melloicosa – Melocosa – Minicosa – Molitorosa – Mongolicosa – Mustelicosa – Navira – Notocosa – Oculicosa – Ocyale – Orinocosa – Orthocosa – Paratrochosina – Pardosa – Pardosella – Passiena – Pavocosa – Phonophilus – Pirata – Piratosa – Proevippa – Prolycosides – Pseudevippa – Pterartoria – Pterartoriola – Pyrenecosa – Rabidosa – Satta – Schizocosa – Shapna – Sibirocosa – Sosippus – Syroloma – Tasmanicosa – Tetralycosa – Tigrosa – Trabea – Trabeops – Trebacosa – Tricassa – Trochosa – Trochosippa – Trochosula – Tuberculosa – Varacosa – Venator – Venatrix – Venonia – Vesubia – Wadicosa – Xerolycosa – Zantheres – Zenonina – Zoica – Zyuzicosa

Lycosidae Sundevall, 1833
Primary references

Sundevall, C.J. 1833. Conspectus Arachnidum. C.F. Berling, Londini Gothorum [Lund, (Sweden)] pp. 1–39. Reference page.

Additional references

Brescovit, A.D.; Álvares, E.S.S. 2011: The wolf spider species from Peru and Bolivia described by Embrik Strand in 1908 (Araneae: Lycosidae: Lycosinae, Sosippinae, Allocosinae). Zootaxa, 3037: 51–61. Preview
Fomichev, A.A. & Marusik, Yu.M. 2017. A survey of East Palaearctic Lycosidae (Araneae). 13. A new genus of spiny-legs Pardosinae from Eastern Kazakhstan. Zootaxa 4320(2): 339–350. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4320.2.8. Reference page.
Framenau, V.W. 2015. Review of the Australian wolf spider genus Venator (Araneae, Lycosidae). Zootaxa 4013(4): 541–555. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4013.4.5. Preview (PDF) Reference page.
Kronestedt, T. 2010: Draposa, a new wolf spider genus from South and Southeast Asia (Araneae: Lycosidae). Zootaxa, 2637: 31–54. Preview PDF
Marusik, Yu.M., Omelko, M.M. & Koponen, S. 2015. A survey of East Palaearctic Lycosidae (Araneae). 11. Two new genera from the Acantholycosa complex. Zootaxa 3985(2): 252–264. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.3985.2.4. Preview (PDF). Reference page.
Paquin, P.; Vink, C.J.; Dupérré, N. 2010: Spiders of New Zealand: annotated family key & species list. Manaaki Whenua Press, Lincoln, New Zealand. ISBN 9780478347050
Piacentini, L.N.; Grismado, C.J. 2009: Lobizon and Navira, two new genera of wolf spiders from Argentina (Araneae: Lycosidae). Zootaxa, 2195: 1–33. Abstract & excerpt


Platnick, N. I. 2008. Lycosidae The World Spider Catalog, version 9.0. American Museum of Natural History

Vernacular names
català: Licòsid
čeština: Slíďákovití
dansk: Jagtedderkopper
Deutsch: Wolfsspinnen
English: Wolf spider
español: Lycosidae
eesti: Huntämbliklased
français: Lycosidae
magyar: Farkaspókfélék
日本語: コモリグモ科
한국어: 늑대거미과
lietuvių: Plėšriavoriai
Nederlands: Wolfspinnen
polski: Pogońcowate
svenska: Jaktspindlar
粵語: 狼蛛科
中文: 狼蛛科

Wolf spiders are members of the family Lycosidae (from Ancient Greek λύκος (lúkos) 'wolf'). They are robust and agile hunters with excellent eyesight. They live mostly in solitude, hunt alone, and do not spin webs. Some are opportunistic hunters, pouncing upon prey as they find it or chasing it over short distances; others wait for passing prey in or near the mouth of a burrow.

Wolf spiders resemble nursery web spiders (family Pisauridae), but wolf spiders carry their egg sacs by attaching them to their spinnerets, while the Pisauridae carry their egg sacs with their chelicerae and pedipalps. Two of the wolf spider's eight eyes are large and prominent; this distinguishes them from nursery web spiders, whose eyes are all of roughly equal size. This can also help distinguish them from the similar-looking grass spiders.

Eye configuration of a Hogna species

The many genera of wolf spiders range in body size (legs not included) from less than 10 to 35 mm (0.4 to 1.38 in).[1][2] They have eight eyes arranged in three rows. The bottom row consists of four small eyes, the middle row has two very large eyes (which distinguishes them from the Pisauridae), and the top row has two medium-sized eyes. Unlike most other arachnids, which are generally blind or have poor vision, wolf spiders have excellent eyesight.

The tapetum lucidum is a retroreflective tissue found in eyes. This reflective tissue is only found in the four[3] larger eyes ("secondary eyes") of the wolf spider. Flashing a beam of light over the spider produces eyeshine; this eyeshine can be seen when the lighting source is roughly coaxial with the viewer or sensor.[4] The light from the light source (e.g., a flashlight or sunlight) has been reflected from the spider's eyes directly back toward its source, producing a "glow" that is easily noticed. Wolf spiders possess the third-best eyesight of all spider groups, bettered by jumping spiders of the family Salticidae (which can distinguish colors) and the huntsman spiders.
A female wolf spider carrying her young on her back

Wolf spiders are unique in the way that they carry their eggs. The egg sac, a round, silken globe, is attached to the spinnerets at the end of the abdomen, allowing the spider to carry her unhatched young with her. The abdomen must be held in a raised position to keep the egg case from dragging on the ground. Despite this handicap, they are still capable of hunting. Another aspect unique to wolf spiders is their method of care of young. Immediately after the spiderlings emerge from their protective silken case, they clamber up their mother's legs and crowd onto the dorsal side of her abdomen. The mother carries the spiderlings for several weeks before they are large enough to disperse and fend for themselves. No other spiders are currently known to carry their young on their backs for any period of time.

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.

Hogna is the genus with the largest of the wolf spiders. Among the Hogna species in the U.S., the nearly solid dark brown H. carolinensis (Carolina wolf spider) is the largest, with a body that can be more than 2.5 cm (1 in) long. It is sometimes confused with H. helluo, which is somewhat smaller and different in coloration. The underside of H. carolinensis is solid black, but the underside of H. helluo is variegated and has reds, oranges, and yellows with shades of black.

Some members of the Lycosidae, such as H. carolinensis, make deep, tubular burrows in which they lurk much of the time. Others, such as H. helluo, seek shelter under rocks and other shelters as nature may provide. As with spiders in general, males of almost any species can sometimes be found inside homes and buildings as they wander in search for females during the autumn.

Wolf spiders play an important role in natural population control of insects and are often considered "beneficial bugs" due to their predation of pest species within farms and gardens.[5]

Wolf spiders inject venom if continually provoked. Symptoms of their bites include swelling, mild pain, and itching. In the past, necrotic bites have been attributed to some South American species, but further investigation has indicated that those problems that did occur were probably actually due to bites by members of other genera.[6] Australian wolf spiders have also been associated with necrotic wounds, but careful study has likewise shown them not to produce such results.[7]
Main article: List of Lycosidae species

As of June 2022, the World Spider Catalog accepts these genera:[8]

Acantholycosa Dahl, 1908—Asia, Europe, North America
Adelocosa Gertsch, 1973—Hawaii
Agalenocosa Mello-Leitão, 1944—South America, Oceania, Mexico, India
Aglaoctenus Tullgren, 1905—South America
Algidus New York, 1975-USA
Allocosa Banks, 1900—Oceania, North America, Africa, South America, Costa Rica, Asia, Europe
Allotrochosina Roewer, 1960—Australia, New Zealand
Alopecosa Simon, 1885—Asia, Europe, South America, Africa, North America, Oceania
Amblyothele Simon, 1910—Africa
Anomalomma Simon, 1890—Pakistan, Indonesia, Zimbabwe
Anomalosa Roewer, 1960—Australia
Anoteropsis L. Koch, 1878—New Zealand, Papua New Guinea
Arctosa C. L. Koch, 1847—Africa, Europe, Asia, South America, North America, Vanuatu
Arctosippa Roewer, 1960—Peru
Arctosomma Roewer, 1960—Ethiopia
Artoria Thorell, 1877—Oceania, Africa, Asia
Artoriellula Roewer, 1960—South Africa, Indonesia
Artoriopsis Framenau, 2007—Australia, New Zealand
Aulonia C. L. Koch, 1847—Turkey
Auloniella Roewer, 1960—Tanzania
Birabenia Mello-Leitão, 1941—Argentina, Uruguay
Bogdocosa Ponomarev & Belosludtsev, 2008—Asia
Brevilabus Strand, 1908—Ivory Coast, Senegal, Ethiopia
Bristowiella Saaristo, 1980—Comoros, Seychelles
Camptocosa Dondale, Jiménez & Nieto, 2005—United States, Mexico
Caporiaccosa Roewer, 1960—Ethiopia
Caspicosa Ponomarev, 2007—Kazakhstan, Russia
Costacosa Framenau & Leung, 2013—Australia
Crocodilosa Caporiacco, 1947—India, Myanmar, Egypt
Cynosa Caporiacco, 1933—North Africa
Dejerosa Roewer, 1960—Mozambique
Deliriosa Kovblyuk, 2009—Ukraine
Diahogna Roewer, 1960—Australia
Diapontia Keyserling, 1877—South America
Dingosa Roewer, 1955—Australia, Peru, Brazil
Dolocosa Roewer, 1960—St. Helena
Donacosa Alderweireldt & Jocqué, 1991—Spain
Dorjulopirata Buchar, 1997—Bhutan
Draposa Kronestedt, 2010—Asia
Dzhungarocosa Fomichev & Marusik, 2017—Kazakhstan
Edenticosa Roewer, 1960—Equatorial Guinea
Evippa Simon, 1882—Africa, Asia, Spain
Evippomma Roewer, 1959—Africa, Asia
Foveosa Russell-Smith, Alderweireldt & Jocqué, 2007
Geolycosa Montgomery, 1904—Africa, South America, Asia, North America, Oceania
Gladicosa Brady, 1987—North America
Gnatholycosa Mello-Leitão, 1940—Argentina
Gulocosa Marusik, Omelko & Koponen, 2015
Hesperocosa Gertsch & Wallace, 1937—United States
Hippasa Simon, 1885—Africa, Asia
Hippasella Mello-Leitão, 1944—Argentina, Peru, Bolivia
Hoggicosa Roewer, 1960—Australia
Hogna Simon, 1885—Asia, Africa, South America, North America, Caribbean, Europe, Oceania, Central America
Hognoides Roewer, 1960—Tanzania, Madagascar
Hyaenosa Caporiacco, 1940—Asia, Africa
Hygrolycosa Dahl, 1908—Asia, Greece
Karakumosa Logunov & Ponomarev, 2020—Asia
Kangarosa Framenau, 2010—Australia
Katableps Jocqué, Russell-Smith & Alderweireldt, 2011
Knoelle Framenau, 2006—Australia
Lobizon Piacentini & Grismado, 2009—Argentina
Loculla Simon, 1910—Iran, Africa
Lycosa Latreille, 1804—North America, Africa, Caribbean, Asia, Oceania, South America, Central America, Europe
Lycosella Thorell, 1890—Indonesia
Lysania Thorell, 1890—China, Malaysia, Indonesia
Mainosa Framenau, 2006—Australia
Malimbosa Roewer, 1960—West Africa
Margonia Hippa & Lehtinen, 1983—India
Megarctosa Caporiacco, 1948—Africa, Asia, Argentina, Greece
Melecosa Marusik, Omelko & Koponen, 2015
Melocosa Gertsch, 1937—North America, Brazil
Minicosa Alderweireldt & Jocqué, 2007—South Africa
Molitorosa Roewer, 1960—Brazil
Mongolicosa Marusik, Azarkina & Koponen, 2004—Mongolia, China
Mustelicosa Roewer, 1960—Ukraine, Asia
Navira Piacentini & Grismado, 2009—Argentina
Notocosa Vink, 2002—New Zealand
Nukuhiva Berland, 1935—Marquesas Is.
Oculicosa Zyuzin, 1993—Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan
Ocyale Audouin, 1826—Africa, Peru, Asia
Orinocosa Chamberlin, 1916—South America, Africa, Asia
Ovia Sankaran, Malamel & Sebastian, 2017—India, China, Taiwan
Paratrochosina Roewer, 1960—Argentina, North America, Russia
Pardosa C. L. Koch, 1847—Asia, Europe, South America, North America, Africa, Caribbean, Oceania, Central America
Pardosella Caporiacco, 1939—Ethiopia, Tanzania
Passiena Thorell, 1890—Africa, Asia
Pavocosa Roewer, 1960—Argentina, Brazil, Thailand
Phonophilus Ehrenberg, 1831—Libya
Pirata Sundevall, 1833—South America, Africa, North America, Asia, Cuba, Central America
Piratula Roewer, 1960—Asia, North America, Ukraine
Portacosa Framenau, 2017—Australia
Proevippa Purcell, 1903—Africa
Prolycosides Mello-Leitão, 1942—Argentina
Pseudevippa Simon, 1910—Namibia
Pterartoria Purcell, 1903—South Africa, Lesotho
Pyrenecosa Marusik, Azarkina & Koponen, 2004—Europe
Rabidosa Roewer, 1960—United States
Satta Lehtinen & Hippa, 1979—Papua New Guinea
Schizocosa Chamberlin, 1904—South America, Asia, Africa, North America, Vanuatu, Central America
Shapna Hippa & Lehtinen, 1983—India
Sibirocosa Marusik, Azarkina & Koponen, 2004—Russia
Sosippus Simon, 1888—North America, Central America
Syroloma Simon, 1900—Hawaii
Tapetosa Framenau, Main, Harvey & Waldock, 2009
Tasmanicosa Roewer, 1959—Australia
Tetralycosa Roewer, 1960—Australia
Tigrosa Brady, 2012—North America
Trabea Simon, 1876—Africa, Spain, Turkey
Trabeops Roewer, 1959—North America
Trebacosa Dondale & Redner, 1981—Europe, North America
Tricassa Simon, 1910—Namibia, South Africa, Madagascar
Trochosa C. L. Koch, 1847—North America, Asia, Africa, South America, Oceania, Central America, Europe, Caribbean
Trochosippa Roewer, 1960—Africa, Indonesia, Argentina
Tuberculosa Framenau & Yoo, 2006—Australia
Varacosa Chamberlin & Ivie, 1942—North America
Venator Hogg, 1900—Australia
Venatrix Roewer, 1960—Oceania, Philippines
Venonia Thorell, 1894—Asia, Oceania
Vesubia Simon, 1910—Italy, Russia, Turkmenistan
Wadicosa Zyuzin, 1985—Africa, Asia
Xerolycosa Dahl, 1908—Asia, Tanzania
Zantheres Thorell, 1887—Myanmar
Zenonina Simon, 1898—Africa
Zoica Simon, 1898—Asia, Oceania
Zyuzicosa Logunov, 2010—Asia

Evolutionary history

Wolf spiders likely originated after the K–Pg extinction event sometime in the late Paleocene, with most main subfamilies likely originating during the Eocene and Early Oligocene between 41 and 32 million years ago.[9]

Wolf spiders are found in a wide range of habitats both coastal and inland. These include shrublands, woodland, wet coastal forest, alpine meadows, suburban gardens, and homes. Spiderlings disperse aerially; consequently, wolf spiders have wide distributions. Although some species have very specific microhabitat needs (such as stream-side gravel beds or montane herb-fields), most are wanderers without permanent homes. Some build burrows which can be left open or have a trap door (depending on species). Arid-zone species construct turrets or plug their holes with leaves and pebbles during the rainy season to protect themselves from flood waters. Often, they are found in man-made locations such as sheds and other outdoor equipment.
Mating behavior
Female wolf spider carrying her egg sac behind her

Many species of wolf spiders possess very complex courtship behaviors and secondary sexual characteristics, such as tufts of bristles on their legs or special colorations, which are most often found on the males of the species. These sexual characteristics vary by species and are most often found as modifications of the first pair of legs.[10] First-leg modifications are often divided into elongated bristles on the legs, increased swelling of leg segments, or the full elongation of the first pair of legs compared to the other three pairs. Some mating behaviors are common between wolf spider genera, and many more that are species-specific. In the most commonly studied genus of wolf spiders, Schizocosa, researchers found that all males engage in a seismic component of their courtship display, either stridulation, or drumming their fore legs on the ground, but some also dependent on visual cues in their courtship display, as well as the seismic signaling, such as waving the front two legs in the air in front of the female, concluding that some Schizocosa species rely on multimodal courtship behaviors.[11]

The Lycosidae comprise mainly wandering spiders, and as such, population density and male-to-female sex ratio puts selective pressures on wolf spiders when finding mates. Female wolf spiders that have already mated are more likely to eat the next male that tries to mate with them than those that have not mated yet. Males that have already mated have a higher probability of successfully mating again, but females that have already mated have a lower probability of mating again.[12]
In culture

South Carolina designated the Carolina wolf spider (Hogna carolinensis) as the official state spider in 2000 due to the efforts of Skyler B. Hutto, a third-grade student at Sheridan Elementary School in Orangeburg.[13]

At the time, South Carolina was the only U.S. state that recognized a state spider.[14] In 2015, efforts began to name an official state spider for neighboring North Carolina.[15]

See also

List of spiders associated with cutaneous reactions
List of Lycosidae genera
List of Lycosidae species


"Wolf Spiders: Lycosidae Sundevall 1833". Australasian Arachnology Society. Retrieved 2 October 2008.
Spiders of North America, D. Ubick et al., p. 164
Smith-Strickland, Kiona (8 February 2015). "This Is How to Find the Spiders That Are Staring At You in the Dark". Retrieved 23 July 2021. "Most spiders have eight eyes. In some species — mostly those that hunt for their prey, like wolf spiders — four of those eyes have a iridescent layer behind their retinas, called a tapetum."
2013: [1] Archived 2020-01-13 at the Wayback Machine "In the lycosoid spiders, the secondary eyes possess a grate-shaped tapetum lucidum that reflects light, causing eyeshine when these spiders are viewed with approximately coaxial illumination."
The Xerces Society (2014). Farming with Native Beneficial Insects: Ecological Pest Control Solutions. North Adams, Massachusetts: Storey Publishing. pp. 204–205. ISBN 9781612122830.
Ribeiro, L. A.; Jorge, M. T.; Piesco, R. V.; Nishioka, S. A. (1990). "Wolf spider bites in São Paulo, Brazil: A clinical and epidemiological study of 515 cases". Toxicon. 28 (6): 715–717. doi:10.1016/0041-0101(90)90260-E. PMID 2402765.
Isbister, Geoffrey K.; Framenau, Volker W. (2004). "Australian Wolf Spider Bites (Lycosidae): Clinical Effects and Influence of Species on Bite Circumstances". Clinical Toxicology. 42 (2): 153–161. doi:10.1081/CLT-120030941. PMID 15214620. S2CID 24310728.
"Family: Lycosidae Sundevall, 1833". World Spider Catalog. Natural History Museum Bern. Retrieved 2019-04-22.
Piacentini, Luis N.; Ramírez, Martín J. (2019). "Hunting the wolf: A molecular phylogeny of the wolf spiders (Araneae, Lycosidae)". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 136: 227–240. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2019.04.004. PMID 30953780.
Framenau, Volker W.; Hebets, Eileen A. (April 2007). "A Review of Leg Ornamentation in Male Wolf Spiders, with the Description of a New Species from Australia, Artoria Schizocoides (Araneae, Lycosidae)". The Journal of Arachnology. 35 (1): 89–101. doi:10.1636/ST06-15.1. ISSN 0161-8202.
Vaccaro, Rosanna (2010). "Courtship and mating behavior of the wolf spider Schizocosa bilineata (Araneae: Lycosidae)". The Journal of Arachnology. 38 (3): 452–459. doi:10.1636/Hi09-115.1. S2CID 62890396.
Wilder, Shawn M.; Rypstra, Ann L. (2008-06-12). "Prior encounters with the opposite sex affect male and female mating behavior in a wolf spider (Araneae, Lycosidae)". Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 62 (11): 1813–1820. doi:10.1007/s00265-008-0610-8. ISSN 0340-5443. S2CID 45562125.
"South Carolina Legislature Online - Search".
"Code of Laws - Title 1 - Chapter 1 - General Provisions".

"Session 2017, SENATE BILL 142" (PDF).

Further reading

Platnick, Norman I. (2008): The world spider catalog, version 8.5. American Museum of Natural History.


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