Wolf spiders are large, hairy, and fast. Not to be confused with tarantulas (which are not native to Florida), wolf spiders can reach sizes of up to 1.5 inches! Wolf spiders are brown to grey in color, although some may have markings like white stripes or spots on their back. This common spider is found throughout the state of Florida except for the western panhandle area. In addition to being a very common spider around Florida homes and other structures, they also live in natural areas such as woodlands and have been known to burrow into loose soil near waterways or ponds.
Wolf Spider Identification:
Wolf spiders are generally identified by their large size since they are bigger than most other spiders located in Florida. Florida wolf spiders can reach a size of around 1.5 inches and are brown and grey in color. They generally will have hair on their bodies which is another easy way to identify them.
Wolf spiders can also be distinguished from other spiders by their eye pattern. They have 8 eyes that are arranged in 3 rows, with 4 small eyes in the bottom row and 2 big eyes touching each other on top of the 3rd row. This can be a very helpful identifying feature since some other Florida spiders such as the huntsman spider only have 6 eyes in one row.
Wolf Spider's Florida Habitat:
Wolf spiders live under rocks, logs, and other debris near the ground. They also may be found under bricks or patio furniture as well as in crevices of cement blocks and woodpiles. Wolf spiders are nocturnal hunters but will wander away from their burrows during the day if disturbed.
They are looking to find a home that is safe from danger but also has plenty of food sources for them. Wolf spiders live mostly out in natural areas where they dig deep burrows (1-2 feet) to lay eggs and shelter themselves.
The wolf spider's large eyes help them to hunt down prey both at night and during the day. They do not spin webs but actively search for food throughout the night by following chemical trails left behind by other animals which they then pounce on! However, they can survive without eating for many months between meals which is why you might find a bunch suddenly living around your house!
Are Wolf Spiders Dangerous? Will They Bite?
Wolf spiders are usually not harmful to humans unless out of defensive aggression. They are known for their speed and ability to run very fast, which makes them difficult to catch.
However, they do sometimes bite people when provoked or threatened but this is relatively rare because they are non-aggressive by nature. These bites can be painful but are rarely dangerous unless an allergic reaction occurs.
With that said, there is one genus of wolf spider in Florida called the "Hogna" species which is a bit more painful than other wolf spiders in Florida! If you get bit by a Hogna Wolf Spider, you generally won't need medical attention, but you should keep a close eye on it