Oh, what a tangled web we weave: The big, bad wolf

October 28, 2011

All fairytales have a happy ending, right?

This big, bad wolf is just as sneaky as the one who blew those pigs’ houses down. In fact, the wolf spider’s mottled brown coloring camouflages the creature entirely as it sneaks up on its prey. Wolf spiders are large and hairy, usually a half an inch to two inches long. These critters are sometimes mistaken as tarantulas. Stout bodies and long, thick legs keep the spider very low to the ground, even if it is walking or running. Wolf spiders are ground dwellers for the most part. However, they have very diverse hunting strategies. Wolf spiders mostly hunt at night on the ground and remain in silk-lined retreats during the day. Others live underground in burrows from which they ambush passing insects. A few make a funnel sheet web, but most don’t waste their time with webs – they simply overpower their prey. No matter where they are, wolf spiders prefer covered, hidden areas. This creates the element of surprise for their victims – something that wolf spiders enjoy. These predators have two large forward looking eyes – the better to see you with, my dear. They have excellent eyesight (they can see in ultraviolet) and are sensitive to vibrations. Although they are relentless hunters, wolf spiders do have a heart. They give their children piggy-back rides for a solid week after they are born – pigs, the irony.

Don’t fear, you’re in the clear – this big, bad wolf isn’t poisonous.

Check out this couple’s story of their first supposed wolf encounter – click here.


One Response to “Oh, what a tangled web we weave: The big, bad wolf”

  1. […] about spiders under the spider category. Here are a few links: ogre-faced, black widow, trapdoor, the wolf spider and the Mexican Red Rump Tarantula. […]

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