Wolf Spiders in Memphis

Wolf spiders are a part of the family Lycosidae. Lycos comes from the Ancient Greek word meaning wolf. The wolf spider is a solitary creature in both living and hunting. They have great vision for a spider which helps them when they hunt at night. Many species of wolf spider are ambush hunters as they will prey on insects who get too close to a burrow or will chase the prey a short distance to catch it. Wolf spiders are often mistaken for nursery web spiders. The difference lies in the way the wolf spider carries the egg sacs. The nursery web spider carries the egg sac with their mouth parts while the wolf spider uses their spinnerets on the back of the abdomen. Wolf spiders’ eyes also have two much larger eyes while the nursery web spider has eyes of all the same size.


The sizes of wolf spiders can range between 1 millimeter and 30 millimeters. Wolf spiders have three rows of eyes which gives them help in hunting. Their sense of touch is also quite developed allowing them to know exactly when to spring on prey that may be walking near their burrows. The eyes reflect lights back onto the direction the spider is looking and produces a glow that can be noticed by humans. This glow allows the wolf spiders to find their prey easily in the dark. Wolf spiders spend most of their time concealed in burrows or if they live indoors they may use their surroundings as a burrow. They may seek shelter beneath clothes or under beds or chairs. If they are near human habitation they are more likely to enter the habitats when colder weather hits.


Wolf spiders are prevalent in the Memphis area during the later summer months and early fall months. Wolf spiders are found all over the world except the extreme cold regions of the North Pole and Antarctica. Memphis is a great place for wolf spiders almost all year round. Memphis provides wolf spiders with a great hunting ground. Wolf spiders prey on many insects that are harmful to crops and potentially people as well. Wolf spiders are capable of defensive bites if antagonized, but will most often run from humans they come across. If they are trapped in your socks or something you might get a bite. Don’t worry though, wolf spiders in the Memphis are very unlikely to hurt you more than light irritation if anything at all.


You are more likely to be helped by wolf spiders than hurt by them. The bites are mostly associated with slight pain, itchiness and swelling. You are more likely to be hurt by a wolf spider from South America than one in Memphis. Wolf spiders prey on many pest types of insects. Many species are hunters, never taking a permanent home, while others will set up their burrows. No matter where you are, there is probably a species of wolf spiders that inhabits your area. As long as you leave them alone they will leave you alone.

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