Florida Wolf Spider (Hogna georgicola)
The Florida Wolf Spider is native to the U.S. State of Florida. These creatures can be found in a wide range of habitats both coastal and inland. These include shrub lands, woodland, wet coastal forests, alpine meadows, and suburban gardens.
The Wolf Spider has eight eyes arranged in three rows. The bottom row consists of four small eyes, the middle row has two very large eyes and the top row has two medium-sized eyes. They depend on their excellent eyesight to hunt. They also possess an acute sense of touch. These spiders can vary greatly in size, from 1 to 6 inches in length. Many have a large and intimidating presence. They are often mistaken for the Brown Recluse.
The Florida Wolf Spider are opportunistic hunters, pouncing upon prey as they find it or even chasing it over short distances. Some will wait for passing prey in or near the mouth of a burrow.
Wolf spiders are unique in the way that they carry their eggs. The egg sac, a round silken globe, is attached to the spinnerets at the end of the abdomen, allowing the spider to carry her unborn young with her. The abdomen must be held in a raised position to keep the egg case from dragging on the ground, however despite this handicap they are still capable of hunting. Another aspect unique to wolf spiders is their method of infant care. Immediately after the spiderlings emerge from their protective silken case, they clamber up their mother’s legs and crowd onto her abdomen.
Information courtesy of wikipedia.org, wildflorida.com, ehow.com
Photo courtesy of floridanature.org