Hello stalkers! Welcome to the twentieth edition of Stalking Mike Blair Outdoors. Please excuse our mess; the website is currently under construction so that we can provide you Mike’s quality work in a better fashion. Keep a look out for upcoming changes. The Facebook page is still up and providing updated content, so continue to check-in on there.
These little creatures are a bit frightening to look at for some, but they have a world all their own. The Wolf Spider is a burrowing spider. They dig out a hole in the ground that is about one inch in diameter. The size of their burrows varies. Rainfall softens the ground and gives these and other burrowing insects a chance to enlarge their homes. The spiders use their legs to excavate and move dirt from the burrow. Their burrows are underground and vertical in nature.
The Wolf Spider is fierce defender of its burrow and hardly ever wanders very far from the protective space. When the spider does emerge it is either to warm eggs in the sun or at night while hiding during the day. After the spider has consumed a large meal, it won’t be hungry and will cover the entrance to their home with grass, providing a nice camouflage cover and extra safety. An easy way to find these spiders is to hold a flashlight at eye level shining on the ground at night. Their gleaming eyes will reflect in the light, giving away their position.
These predatory spiders adapt a watch and wait strategy to their hunt. The sit about one inch down in the chamber of their home and wait for unsuspecting prey to wander by. It uses it’s keen eyesight and it’s ability to sense vibrations to home in and capture insects that pass by the entrance to their burrow. It moves with a quick snake-like movement, striking out at its prey. The wolf spider uses its massive jaw and the venom works quickly to immobilize the victim.
Wolf spiders mate and then the male spider leaves the female to her work. Most males clear out from the area of the female because she would not hesitate to kill and eat her mate. This is a rare picture of a pair of mating Missouri Burrowing Wolf Spiders. The silken egg sac is located under the abdomen, opposite the head. Mainly being a nocturnal creature, the female will back out of the den in the morning sun to warm the egg sac. The backs out so that way she is prepared to rush to safety should the need arise. As the sun rises and heats she retreats into the den.
The hatching period of a wolf spider is about twenty days. Then, when they hatch the tiny spiders will crown onto their mother’s back. They ride around for a week or so before dispersing out on their own.
The wolf spider is biggest and meanest spider in Kansas, second only to the tarantula. They are gruesome looking with their large appearance, eight large eyes, massive jaws and ‘hairy’ appearance. While they are aggressive with their prey they aren’t normally aggressive toward humans and according to Blair their bites aren’t dangerous.
Blair has a couple videos featuring these interesting creatures. While he has a view beware on one of them that features a wolf spider capturing and eating a cricket, they are interesting to watch and provide some informational and valuable look into their lives. You will also get to see some footage of the baby spiders clinging to their mother’s back. Wolf Spider Kills Cricket video can be found here. And the Burrowing Wolf Spider Video can be found here.
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Don’t forget to check out the Wolf Spider Photo Gallery!