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Australian Wolf Spider (Lycosidae): The Hunter of Wolf Spiders in Australia and Insights into Its Bite

Introduction to Wolf Spiders in Australia

The Australian Wolf Spider (Lycosidae) is a ground-dwelling spider found throughout Australia. These agile hunters use their excellent eyesight to stalk and catch their prey. They are found in various habitats, including wet coastal forests and backyards.

Key Takeaways:

  • Wolf spiders are agile hunters found throughout Australia.
  • They have a distinctive appearance with eight eyes arranged in three rows.
  • The Australian wolf spider is just one of the many species of wolf spider found in the country.

Australian Wolf Spiders: The Stealthy Hunters Lurking in Your Backyard

The Australian wolf spider is a species of the Lycosidae family. These spiders are often found living on the ground, either in leaf litter or burrows. Unlike many spiders that rely on webs to catch their prey, wolf spiders are active hunters. They use their excellent eyesight, provided by their large eyes, to stalk and catch their prey. These spiders are found in various habitats ranging from wet coastal forests to alpine meadows.

Wolf Spiders in Australia

Wolf spiders are found throughout Australia, from the coastal regions to the inland areas. They are known for their distinctive marking on the abdomen and their unique eye arrangement. With eight eyes set in three rows, they have two large eyes in the front, followed by two rows of three smaller eyes each. This gives them a broad field of vision, making them efficient hunters.

Are Wolf Spiders Australian?

While wolf spiders are found in many parts of the world, the Australian wolf spider is specific to the continent. There are many species of wolf spiders in Australia, each adapted to its specific habitat. The Australian Museum provides a comprehensive guide on these spiders, which can be found here.

Is The Wolf Spider Australia Specific?

No, wolf spiders are found globally. However, certain species of wolf spider are endemic to Australia. These spiders have adapted to the unique environments found throughout Australia, from woodland areas to wet coastal regions.

Wolf Spider – the full story

To truly understand the wolf spider, one must delve into its habits, habitat, and characteristics. These spiders, with their burrow-dwelling tendencies and unique mating rituals, offer a glimpse into the intricate world of arachnids.

Identification and Characteristics

What Is A Wolf Spider?A ground-dwelling spider known for its hunting prowess.
What Does A Wolf Spider Look Like?Brown or grey with black or white markings on its abdomen.
Wolf Spider SizeVaries by species, ranging from 10mm to 35mm.
Wolf Spider HoleA burrow or hole where the spider resides, often lined with silk.
General DescriptionGround-dwelling spiders with eight eyes and agile hunting capabilities.
Animal TypeArachnid.
Animal SubTypeSpider.
Behavior – Habitat and Australian MatingActive hunters that live in burrows and have unique mating rituals.

Behavior – Habitat and Australian Mating

Wolf spiders: Behavior, bites, and other facts

Wolf spiders are known for their distinctive behavior. Unlike many spiders that weave webs, wolf spiders are ground dwellers. They are often found in leaf litter or burrows, making them a common sight in gardens and woodlands throughout Australia. Their eight eyes are not just for show; they provide the spiders with excellent eyesight. This, combined with their agile hunting skills, makes them formidable predators.

Mating behavior

The mating rituals of wolf spiders are unique. The male wolf spider will often perform a dance to attract a female. This involves waving their legs in the air and vibrating their bodies. Once the female is interested, the male will approach cautiously, as female spiders are known to be aggressive. After mating, the female will produce an egg sac, which she will carry around attached to her spinnerets.

Habitats and Habits

Wolf spiders can be found in a variety of habitats throughout Australia. From wet coastal forests to alpine meadows and inland shrublands, these spiders have wide distributions. They prefer to live on the ground, often hiding under pebbles, twigs, or leaves. Their burrows can be simple holes or intricate tunnels with a trapdoor.

Habitat and feeding

Wolf spiders are not picky eaters. Their diet mainly consists of insects like ants, but they’ve also been known to eat small amphibians like frogs. They rely on their keen eyesight to spot prey and their speed to chase it down.


Their primary diet consists of smaller insects, but larger species of wolf spiders might prey on small frogs or other spiders. They are also known to be cannibalistic, especially if food is scarce.

Comparisons with Other Spiders

FeatureWolf SpiderHuntsman Spider
SizeRanging in size from 10mm to 35mmGenerally larger, up to 45mm
ColorsBrown or grey with black or white markingsBrown or grey, often with a mottled pattern
Body PartsEight eyes in three rows, two large and six smallerEight eyes in two rows
HabitatBurrows or on the groundOften found on tree trunks or under bark
Mating HabitsMales perform a danceMales approach cautiously without a dance
VenomousYes, but not lethal to humansYes, but generally not harmful to humans

Safety and Precautions – wolf spider bite & Venom

Wolf spiders, while intimidating, are not as dangerous as many believe. Their venom is not lethal to humans, but a bite can cause discomfort.

How Dangerous Is A Wolf Spider Bite?

wolf spider bite can be painful and might cause swelling, redness, and itching. In rare cases, some individuals might experience allergic reactions. For more detailed information on the effects and first aid for wolf spider bites, visit this link.

Dealing with Wolf Spiders – Lycosidae

Wolf spiders, despite their fearsome reputation, play a vital role in the ecosystem by controlling insect populations. However, their presence can be unsettling for many homeowners.

How Do You Get Rid Of Wolf Spiders In Australia?

If you find a wolf spider inside your house, it’s essential to approach it with caution. While they’re not aggressive, they might bite if threatened. You can safely trap the spider and release it outside using a glass and a piece of paper. For those looking to prevent wolf spiders from entering their homes, sealing cracks, using window screens, and keeping the home clean can deter these spiders.

What To Do About A Wolf Spider

If bitten by a wolf spider, it’s crucial to clean the wound with soap and water and apply an antiseptic. While the wolf spider bite is not life-threatening, monitoring the bite for any signs of infection is essential. If swelling persists or if there’s an allergic reaction, seek medical attention.

How to Deal with Wolf Spiders

Wolf spiders are not aggressive towards humans, but their bite can be painful. If you are concerned about wolf spiders or other spiders in your home, we recommend visiting our pest control service for more information and professional solutions.

Australian Wolf Spider Information

  • Meet the Desert Two-toned Wolf Spider: A species known for its distinctive two-toned appearance.
  • Black diamond wolf spider (Artoriopsis sp.1): Recognized by its unique black diamond pattern on its abdomen.
  • Garden Wolf Spider – Lycosa godeffroyi: A common species found in gardens across Australia. More information can be found here.
  • Lycosidae, Wolf Spiders: The scientific family name for wolf spiders.
  • Allocosa obscuroides: A lesser-known species with unique markings.
  • Genus Venonia and Genus Venator: Two genera of wolf spiders with various species under them.
  • White dotted wolf spider: This spider gets its name from the distinctive white dots on its abdomen.
  • Conservation Statuses: Wolf spiders, like many creatures, are affected by habitat loss and environmental changes. While not currently endangered, it’s essential to understand and respect their role in the ecosystem.

Wolf Spiders: Nature’s Pest Controllers

Wolf spiders may look intimidating, but these fascinating arachnids play a crucial role in keeping your environment healthy. As expert hunters, they feast on various insects that might otherwise become garden pests or nuisances in your home. Australian Wolf Spiders contribute to a balanced ecosystem by keeping insect populations in check.

Additional Resources and Media

For those interested in viewing images or learning more about the wolf spider, various resources are available:

Find wolf spiders

Dive into the captivating realm of wolf spiders, nature’s agile hunters that roam landscapes from dense forests to your backyard. Unlike their web-spinning counterparts, wolf spiders rely on their sharp vision and lightning-fast reflexes to ambush unsuspecting prey. Are you eager to spot one? Venture outdoors during dusk or dawn, and you might glimpse them skittering across the ground or stealthily lurking beneath rocks and foliage. And here’s a pro tip: shine a flashlight in the dark, and their eyes will twinkle back, thanks to their unique eye structure. While their presence might startle some, rest assured, their bite, though a tad painful, isn’t harmful to humans. Dive in, and let the adventure of finding wolf spiders begin!


Q: What is the Australian Wolf Spider?

A: The Australian Wolf Spider, scientifically known as Lycosidae Wolf Spider, is a spider found in Australia.

Q: How many eyes do wolf spiders have?

A: Wolf spiders have eight eyes.

Q: Do all spider species have eight eyes?

A: No, not all spider species have eight eyes, but wolf spiders do.

Q: Are female wolf spiders larger than male wolf spiders?

A: Yes, female wolf spiders are generally larger than male wolf spiders.

Q: Where do wolf spiders typically lay their eggs?

A: Wolf spiders carry their eggs in a spherical egg sac attached to their spinnerets.

Q: How many eggs can a female wolf spider lay at once?

A: A female wolf spider can lay hundreds of eggs in a single egg sac.

Q: What happens after the eggs hatch?

A: When the eggs hatch, spiderlings disperse from the egg sac and go their separate ways.

Q: Are all the spiderlings from the same egg sac the same size?

A: No, while some spiderlings may be similar in size, others may be smaller or larger.

Q: Are there different species of wolf spiders in Australia?

A: Yes, there are various species of wolf spiders found in Australia, such as Tasmanicosa godeffroyi and the Grey Wolf Spider.

Q: Where are wolf spiders commonly found in Australia?

A: In Australia, wolf spiders thrive in grasslands, forests, coastal dunes, and suburban gardens. They often dwell in burrows or beneath rocks and debris. Whether in the wild or your backyard, these ground-dwelling hunters are likely close by!

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