Wolf Spiders (Hogna genus)
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Types of Spiders
Often measuring three inches in total length, wolf spiders in the Hogna genus rank as the largest of the wolf spiders
Partly because of size, a first look at any hogna spider might bring to mind the tarantula. Lack of body hair serves as the first clue to rule out the tarantula.
The light stripe on the cephlothorax also provides a good identification clue.
Most hogna species are common to the Eastern United States. A small populations inhabits western soils.
The top picture shows Hogna lenta, or a Field Wolf Spider, a common Florida species. Thanks to C.E. of Gainesville, FL for the great picture.
Picture two shows the Carolina Wolf Spider (Hogna carolinensis), the largest of the Hogna species.
It inhabits a variety of primarily southern ecosystems, and home consists of a ground burrow. Their hunting occurs mostly at night.
Females often overwinter in residential areas, startling unsuspecting homeowners when they run from under a board or other ground based object.
The picture shows an individual with a gray body. The body can also take on a brownish color.
Like other spiders, they do bite, however they are not classified as spiders of medical importance.
In most instances, wolf spider retreat in human presence rather than assuming an aggressive posture. Additionally they do not get classified as a spider of medical concern, meaning the bite is not poisonous to the average human.
In 1990 the South Carolina designated the Carolina Wolf Spider as the official state spider.
© 2009-2011 Patricia A. Michaels