Wolf spiders are very large, hairy spiders with heavy-looking bodies and long thick legs. They don’t spin webs, but hunt by running and walking along the ground or on walls.
Wolf spiders can be as large as your hand, and their size, together with their extremely fast movements make them quite intimidating for arachnophobes. There are more than 2000 species of wolf spiders and many of them are large enough to be mistaken for tarantulas.
Female wolf spiders carry their eggs around with them in an egg sac that is almost as large as their body. When the spiderlings hatch they climb onto her back and are carried around for several more weeks.
Wolf spiders are common in Florida. You may see them on walls inside or outside the house, or when digging in the garden. They will bite if handled, or if they feel threatened. The bite is painful and can cause redness and swelling. Sometimes you will see one or two punctures or tears in the skin from the fangs. If you are bitten by a wolf spider, or any spider, it is a good idea to seek medical attention.
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