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A Closer Look At The Rabid Wolf Spider

rabid wolf spider
Image via PIxabay

In this post we’ll be taking a closer look at the Rabid Wolf Spider.

rabid wolf spider

Rabid Wolf Spiders are a relatively rare species but can inflict a nasty bite if disturbed. The Rabid Wolf Spider (Rabidosa Rabida) is a species of spider found mainly in the Eastern and Southern parts of the United States. 

They are ground-dwelling spiders that burrow into the soil and hunt their prey. This species is known for its remarkable agility and speed when hunting insects by using its large chelicerae (jaws). The Rabid Wolf Spider is also known for its defensive capabilities, as it can bite with considerable force if threatened. 

Let’s get to know these arachnids by learning about their physical traits and behaviors.

If you need a quick answer you can jump ahead to any section below:

Behaviour of the Rabid Wolf Spider

rabid wolf spider

Rabid Wolf Spiders are solitary spiders that usually inhabit caves or hideaways near their prey sources, such as under rocks or logs, beneath leaf litter, or within soil cavities where enough food is available for them to feed on. 

During the daytime, they stay hidden from view but become active at night when they search for prey. They hunt through ambush techniques, such as waiting until an insect passes by so they can snatch it quickly. Then they drag it back to their hiding place to feed upon it undisturbed. 

When threatened, they will often stand firm while releasing a strong odor from their spinnerets and then resort to biting if necessary. Their venomous bite is painful but not lethal to humans, though medical attention should be sought after any bites as some people may experience allergic reactions to them due to their venom composition. 

The Physical Characteristics of the Spider

rabid wolf spider

The Rabid Wolf Spider has a distinctive brown body with yellowish stripes on its back. It has eight eyes arranged in two rows, four large eyes on top, and four smaller ones below. The spider’s cephalothorax, or head section, is broad and covered in short hairs. 

Its legs are long, spiny, and light brown, with dark bands distally on each segment. Its gray-brown abdomen has darker markings around the edges, giving it a mottled patterned appearance. When they reach adulthood, they can reach up to 1 inch in length. 

Reproduction 

rabid wolf spider

Rabid Wolf Spiders exhibit sexual dimorphism; males are typically smaller than females yet possess longer legs than their female counterparts. Meanwhile, females have proportionally larger abdomens containing eggs & egg sacs during the reproductive season within spring & early summertime months. 

Mating rituals involve elaborate courtship dances whereby males wave their front legs & make quick movements before mating takes place, which usually lasts about 30 minutes. Females lay between 50 – 500 eggs at once. It depends on her size and how much nutrition she had access to before reproduction. 

Afterward, eggs hatch into small spiderlings that remain attached to the mother’s abdomen until they reach maturity. 

Tips on How to Identify These Spiders in Your Area

rabid wolf spider

These spiders can pack a punch if they bite you. Mentioned below are some tips on how to identify rabid wolf spiders in your area: 

#1 Look for Unique Physical Characteristics

One way to recognize a rabid wolf spider is by its physical characteristics. These spiders usually have gray or brown bodies, with distinctive tufts of hair that run down the sides of their bodies and legs. 

They also have banded markings along their legs, making them easily identifiable compared to other species of spiders. 

#2 Observe Aggressive Behavior

Another good way to identify a rabid wolf spider is by observing its aggressive behavior when confronted or threatened. These spiders often raise their front two legs and lunge forward as an intimidating defense mechanism when threatened.

If you notice this behavior in an arachnid, it’s likely that it is a rabid wolf spider and should be avoided at all costs. 

#3 Check Its Environment

You can also look at the environment where you’ve spotted the spider to determine whether it is a rabid wolf spider. 

Rabid wolf spiders typically live near places where there is a lot of insect activity, such as meadows, woodlands, and fields, because they feed on other insects like flies and crickets. If you find one in these areas, it is likely a rabid wolf spider.

#4 Look for Orange Mites

Finally, another tell-tale sign that you’ve found a rabid wolf spider is the presence of orange mites underneath its abdomen. These mites live off the blood from the spider’s prey but can be easily seen if you observe closely enough – so keep your eyes peeled! However, remember to keep a safe distance from them. 

Effective Prevention Methods 

rabid wolf spider

Homeowners can take several preventive measures to avoid infestations of Rabid Wolf Spiders. First, it is crucial to ensure there are no entry points into the home, such as open doors or windows, holes in screens, or cracks in walls or foundations. 

Sealing potential access points can help keep out spiders and other pests like flies and mosquitoes. Additionally, reducing the presence of food sources by removing outdoor trash cans or bird feeders near the house can discourage spiders from entering the property and looking for food. 

Taking Precautions When Encountering a Rabid Wolf Spider 

Taking certain safety precautions is highly recommended if you encounter a Rabid Wolf Spider. 

Wearing thick gloves or using something like a broom handle can prevent bites if it must be handled. Otherwise, it should be removed from your living space with a cup or jar lid and taken outside, away from your home, and released far away from the property line so it will not return indoors again. 

Even though their venom is rarely fatal for humans, symptoms such as pain at the bite site, fever, chills, and nausea can occur, which could require medical treatment if left untreated.

Key Points

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Rabid Wolf spiders are a relatively rare species but can inflict a nasty bite if disturbed. 
The Rabid Wolf Spiders live primarily outdoors among woody areas close to food sources 
They hunt through ambush techniques such as waiting until an insect passes by so they can snatch it quickly. Then they drag it back to their hiding place to feed upon it undisturbed. 
Even though their venom is rarely fatal for humans, symptoms such as pain at the bite site, fever, chills, and nausea can occur,
A tell-tale sign that you’ve found a rabid wolf spider is the presence of orange mites underneath its abdomen.

Bottomline

rabid wolf spider

The Rabid Wolf Spider is an exciting species of spider with both defensive capabilities and incredible speed and agility. They hunt for prey at night times using ambush techniques. 

They have distinct physical features such as long spiny legs, broad cephalothorax covered in short hairs, and mottled abdominal patterns. This helps to differentiate them from other common types of spiders found in the eastern and southern regions of the US.

The Rabid Wolf Spiders live primarily outdoors in woody areas close to food sources and away from human habitation. They’re nocturnal creatures who prefer solitude when not actively pursuing items to consume during evening hours. 

Thank you for reading this article! If spiders give you the creeps perhaps you’d prefer to learn more about What Crickets Eat.

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