Wolf Spiders Pardosa spp

Scientific Name: Pardosa spp (Lycosidae).

English Name: Wolf Spiders (Wolf spider family).

French Name: Pardose; Araignée loup (='wolf spider').

5 Key Characters:
  •  body length 5 - 8 mm.
  • 8 eyes (2 big and 4 small facing forwards, 2 large facing backwards), hunts by sight.
  • does not make a web.
  • very variable pattern on the back, brown or grey.
  • bristles at joints on legs.

Lookalikes: There are two main groups of Pardosa spp. The first (eg P. monticola, P. lugubris) have a clear white central dorsal line and may or may not have definite 'shoulders', depending on species. The second (eg P. amentata, P. hortensis) has a sort of crest, not a clear straight white dorsal line and definite 'shoulders' ie the thorax narrows abruptly to the head. The photo above is of a species in the second group, probably Spotted Wolf Spider P. amentata, the most abundant species. There are a couple of other species that do not fall into either of the two categories above.

Habitat: Open areas with bare soil and low vegetation. Forest and field margins; damp places like marshes and river banks; waste ground; gardens. Will come into houses in winter. Eats flies and other small insects.

Adult Active Period: March-April-May-June-July.

Status: Abundant.

Photographed by Loire Valley Nature:

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