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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 05, 2021

Fang-tastic Facts About The Carolina Wolf Spider For Kids

Check out these Carolina wolf spider facts about the spider that has earned itself a state title.

The Carolina wolf spider is an interesting spider. Their abundant population and their hunting techniques are well known, especially in the state of Carolina. They were actually named the official spider of Carolina thanks to a third-grader named Skyler B. Hutto! They belong to the Lycosidae family and they are brown in color with a dark underside. Males have orange coloration on their sides, and their body is covered with fine silver to slate-grey hair. They are the largest wolf spider in North America!

They have the capacity to keep their internal heat level inside specific limits even when the surrounding temperature is different, which helps them live in locations with varying temperatures, such as a desert ecosystem. They do this by expanding their oxygen usage levels to exceptionally high amounts and then reducing this afterward to the appropriate level for the required temperature.

This species of wolf spiders follow their prey in a similar way to how wolves do in the wild, and this is how they got their name! They don't weave webs like most spiders, yet they find their prey with their excellent eyesight. They wait for their prey by sitting on the edge of their burrow and they catch their prey with impressive strength and speed when it comes close enough. If their prey happens to be large and they are unable to carry it back to their burrow, they simply eat it where they hunt and move into their burrow once they're done feeding. Even though they are great hunters, this species of spider is sometimes hunted upon by large arthropods, including scorpions, owls, coyotes, and wasps, spider-eating birds, large lizards, and amphibians.

Females can reproduce 200 spiderlings per egg sac, which they wrap in silk. This species of spiders is known for carrying their egg sac on their body. After the eggs hatch, females carry the spiderlings on their abdomen for few weeks until the spiderlings grow enough to live independently. Spiderlings are born helpless and depend on their mother for protection in their early days.

After reading this article, have a look at our article on the rabid wolf spider or the Brazilian wandering spider too.

Carolina Wolf Spider Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Carolina wolf spider?

The Carolina wolf spider is a spider species. They are also the state spider of Carolina, as seen by their name.

What class of animal does a Carolina wolf spider belong to?

The Carolina wolf spider belongs to the class of Arthropods.

How many Carolina wolf spiders are there in the world?

Their exact population is unknown. There are 124 genera and 2888 species of wolf spiders, of which the Carolina wolf (state) spider is one.

Where does a Carolina wolf spider live?

They are found everywhere in North America, including both the United States and Canada.

What is a Carolina wolf spider's habitat?

Their habitat includes both inland and coastal areas, including alpine meadows, woodland, wet coastal forest areas, shrublands, suburban gardens, and homes around human habitats.

Who do Carolina wolf spiders live with?

Carolina wolf spiders are solitary spiders.

How long does a Carolina wolf spider live?

Females are known to live for about three years, which is more than the males, who live only for one year.

How do they reproduce?

Males make the first move in the mating process by performing courtship rituals. They broaden their palps and vibrate their abdomen. Then according to the response from the females, they begin mating.  After mating, males run away instantly, as researchers have noticed that otherwise the females will eat them or fight with them right after.

While covering their eggs, females are regularly seen 'sunning' their egg sac. This is when female spiders sit close to the highest point of their nest, with their heads bowed down and their abdomen and egg sac facing up. After an incubation period of 14 days, the eggs hatch.

What is their conservation status?

Their conservation status is currently Least Concern. Their population faces no threat of extinction as they are found all over North America in the U.S and Canada.

Carolina Wolf Spider Fun Facts

What do Carolina wolf spiders look like?

Female Carolina wolf spiders are bigger in size than males. They have eight eyes, which are arranged in three rows. The topmost row has two medium-sized eyes, the bottom row has four small eyes, and the middle row has two large eyes. The average Carolina wolf spider size is 0.7-1.3 in (18-35 mm). The color of their body differs from black to brown-black. Their large eyes help them to hunt their prey even during the night. Being a nocturnal animal, they hunt at night and rarely hunt in the daytime. You can easily spot them at night as they have flashy eyes, which reflect the light.

Carolina spiders are capable of thermoregulation.
* Please note that this is an image of an orb-weaver spider, not a Carolina wolf spider. If you have an image of a Carolina wolf spider, please let us know at [email protected]

How cute are they?

Spiders are not typically seen as cute, in fact, most people find them a little creepy!

How do they communicate?

The Carolina wolf spider communicates by producing vibrations. The 'purring' sound produced by these vibrations is loud enough to be heard by humans. Males mainly use this technique to communicate with their female counterparts.

How big is a Carolina wolf spider?

Carolina wolf spiders grow up to 0.7-1.3 in (18-35 mm) in size. This varies depending on their gender as females tend to be larger than males. They may not be the largest spider species overall, but they are the largest species when compared to other wolf spiders.

How fast can Carolina wolf spiders move?

They can move 2 ft (0.6 m) per second. For a spider of its size, that is quite impressive. Their speed certainly helps them in their hunting.

How much does a Carolina wolf spider weigh?

Their weight is not recorded officially. Other species of wolf spiders can weigh up to 1 oz (30 g), and as these are the largest wolf spiders in North America, we can assume that their weight will be at least equal to 1 oz (30 grams).

What are their male and female names of the species?

They do not have specific names for males and females.

What would you call a baby Carolina wolf spider?

Baby wolf spiders (Hogna carolinensis) are called spiderlings.

What do they eat?

Carolina wolf spiders prey on crickets, ants, beetles, and other small insects.

Are they harmful?

Wolf spider bites are not venomous to humans, but they may cause minor symptoms. These spiders are not known to be aggressive towards humans either, but they may attack in self-defense. They only prey on small insects.

Would they make a good pet?

If you are comfortable around spiders, Carolina wolf spiders are good pets to have. They do not need much, other than a supply of small flies every now and then to keep them full and happy. And don't worry, they do not bite unless, of course, you provoke them. They love spending time in dark corners and typically keep to themselves.

Did you know...

As they are used to living on their own and not in groups, the behavior of female spiders of this species can range from being friendly while mating to cannibalism right after.

They do not weave webs like other spiders. Instead, they get the name 'wolf', as they are known to hunt like wolves.

In 2000, South Carolina became the first state ever to have a state spider. They named this species of wolf spider (South Carolina population) the South Carolina wolf spider. Later in 2015, North Carolina followed suit and named their wolf spider (North Carolina population) the North Carolina wolf spider.

This species of spiders is unique when compared to other spider species. They are bad climbers, and so they tread only on open and flat surfaces. They also prefer to live in a burrow. They are often spotted under rocks and inside stray holes.

The Carolina wolf spider got its scientific name from Walckenaer in 1805. Previously, the scientific name was Lycosa carolinensis, but it is now Hogna carolinensis.

How dangerous are Carolina wolf spiders to pets?

A Carolina wolf spider bite can be painful to pets depending on their size. The Carolina wolf spider will only bite if it feels threatened, but owners should be aware that other pets may knowingly or unknowingly provoke this little spider. If the wolf spider bites a pet, it may appear to limp. To confirm if the limp is due to a spider bite, you may need to visit a vet.

Which wolf spiders are found across the U.S?

Wolf spiders are a common sight across the U.S. Several types of wolf spiders make their homes in lawns, burrows, and dark corners of your houses across the country. Some of these include the pirate wolf spider, the thin-legged wolf spider, Carolina wolf spiders (Hogna carolinensis), the rabid wolf spider, and more. None of these spiders spew webs and they are all great at hunting. Also, they are generally not harmful to humans and go about doing their business unless provoked.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arthropods, including the wolf spider or the cat-faced spider.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our Carolina wolf spider coloring pages.

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