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Many people keep pets in their apartments. Some people have cats or dogs and enjoy their pleasant company. Others prefer exotic or unusual animals – foxes, raccoons, capuchin monkeys. Someone has tender feelings for reptiles, then terrariums are built-in apartments and houses and special food is bought. And some have a love for spiders. The pets we will get to know better today are called “arthropods”. These are spiders, but not ordinary forest or domestic ones, but special Wolf Spiders that live in the gardens of the middle lane and are almost invisible in the daytime due to their natural camouflage.

The wolf spider (Lycosidae) belongs to the family of araneomorph spiders and is a prominent representative of the Entelegynae series. In natural conditions, there are more than two thousand species, which are united in more than one hundred genera.

Appearance

Along with other Araneae species, the Wolf Spider is characterized by a primitive body structure. The main purpose of the cephalothorax is touch, absorption of food, breathing, and the performance of a locomotor or motor function. The internal organs of the arthropod are located in the abdominal cavity. As it grows and develops, the spider will molt.

The average lifespan of a Wolf Spider can vary depending on size and species. As a rule, the smallest species live no more than twelve months. Large varieties can live for more than two to three years. Young individuals and fertilized females leave for the winter.Wolf Spider: Species Profile 15

It is interesting! Spider blood contains copper and is transparent, but turns blue in the open air. These arthropods completely lack veins and arteries, and through hemolymph, a constant relationship between all organs is ensured.

A peculiarity of the Wolf Spider is a kind of body coloration and an amazing ability to disguise itself, merging with the environment. The most common in nature are individuals with a body of brown, gray, or black. It is quite rare to find spiders of uncharacteristic light coloration. The main differences between the female and the male:

  • body size of males is smaller than that of females;
  • males, as a rule, are noticeably darker than females;
  • females have less developed forelimbs.

Males actively use sufficiently powerful forelimbs to attract the attention of the female, as well as in the mating process.

Habitat

Wolf Spiders are almost ubiquitous. The exception is Antarctica, where the soil and climatic conditions are not suitable for the life of this species of arthropods. Lycosidae is most often found in countries characterized by a long warm period.

Its habitat is grassy meadows, shrubs, fallen leaves, and rocky areas, but most often the Wolf Spider equips its home in places with high humidity levels. The species is widespread in forest zones located near natural reservoirs.

Behavior and Lifestyle

It is believed that this spider was called a Wolf not only for the thick hair on the abdomen, but also for the habit of living and hunting alone, and not by the method of weaving trapping nets, but by real races after the escaping prey. He hunts mainly small insects. Catches flies, beetles, other spiders and finds larvae laid by beetles.

At night, these creatures sit in burrows and catch insects running by, and in the daytime, they move near the mink on their own and, seeing potential prey, jump on it with all their weight, pre-attaching the web to the place from which the jump was made. Wolf Spiders eat their victims, pressing them to the ground or other surface with their front paws, which look like articulated harpoons. It is a predatory arachnid, so it can immobilize large victims by injecting a poisonous substance with a bite.Wolf Spider: Species Profile 16

Did you know? This species of arachnids has such a strong maternal instinct that the female, from whom the cocoon with cubs was taken, loses peace and can wander for hours in search of it. If the cocoon cannot be found, it clings to the abdomen or any object similar to it. There are cases when a female Wolf Spider replaced the cocoon with tiny pieces of cotton wool or balls of cotton fibers to create the illusion of bearing offspring.

Female Wolf Spiders mate exclusively with male specimens they like. Most often, mating takes place in the warm season – thus, in a temperate climate, this process occurs in the spring, and in a tropical climate it takes place all year round. The male attracts the female’s attention by swaying on elongated forepaws and slowly approaching her with a swinging gait. If the female decides that such a male is suitable for her, she helps him climb onto the back. If the male is small, the female turns the abdomen so that it is convenient for him to introduce sperm into her genitals with the help of her genital organ.

After mating, the female immediately begins to look for a cozy corner to settle in it and start spinning a cocoon for fertilized eggs. In the resulting multilayer ball, she carries eggs for two to three weeks, while the baby spiders mature in them. This tangle is attached to the female’s spinning organ, from which she secretes a web to strengthen the cocoon. The cocoon ripens well only in sunny and warm weather, so the female looks for the warmest places for it and, due to the evaporation of moisture from the surface of her body, loses up to 30% of the total mass.

As soon as new spiders begin to hatch, the spider mom senses this, throws off the cocoon, and tears it apart, freeing the spiders from the web. She carries the offspring on herself for the next three to four weeks and feeds them until the babies begin to feed on their own. Depending on the size of the female, from forty to one hundred babies are placed on her abdomen – sometimes there are so many spiders that only the eyes remain free on the mother’s body.

Varieties

In total, this spider family has more than two thousand species, which are divided into one hundred and sixteen genera. Between themselves, these species differ in the way of hunting – running or burrowing, and the time of hunting – day or night. The most common species is called the Lycosa Tarantula. This is a rather large arachnid, it reaches at least seven centimeters in length. Lives on the slopes of mountains and hills love to hide in fallen leaves and cover their burrows with them. Its bite is very painful and has long been considered poisonous.Wolf Spider: Species Profile 17

Among the species of Wolf Spiders that do not belong to tarantulas, Leopard Spiders and Earthen Spiders are often found in wooded areas, private houses, and summer cottages. The former is distinguished by a bright silver stripe on the body and small size – only 0.5 cm. The latter is slightly larger, their dimensions reach one centimeter. They have similar habits and life expectancy.Wolf Spider: Species Profile 18Wolf Spider: Species Profile 19

Home Maintenance

Representatives of arthropods are very interesting, and it is very exciting to observe such unusual pets. Even though the most common domestic arachnid is the tarantula, Wolf Spiders, which are widespread in nature, also tolerate captivity very easily.

It is interesting! Scientists have tried to remove a Wolf Spider from a cocoon in an artificial incubator, but such a bold experiment was doomed to failure. The deprivation of parental supervision caused rapid decay of the cocoon.

Nowadays, Wolf Spiders become pets quite often. When kept indoors, some precautions must be taken:

  • it is best to keep a spider in an aquarium, the volume of which varies between 10-20 liters;
  • the aquarium must be filled with peat chips or forest soil, with a layer of 6-12 cm;
  • the temperature regime inside the aquarium should be maintained within the range of 25-30 ° C during the entire time of keeping the spider;
  • the optimum moisture content is 75-80%;
  • to prevent painful bites, do not abruptly take the spider in your arms.

Important! The humidity and temperature indicators must be strictly controlled, and, if necessary, increased by covering the aquarium with translucent plastic or plastic wrap.

Food Wolf Spider: Species Profile 20

The Wolf Spider is a very voracious arthropod, so it must be provided with sufficient complete food. Live food in the form of crickets, cockroaches, flies, mosquitoes, and beetle larvae can be used to feed spiders of this species. The diet of a Wolf Spider must necessarily include fresh water and crushed, dried insects.

Danger to Humans

This type of arthropod belongs to the category of weakly poisonous representatives of arachnids and is not at all inclined to attack warm-blooded animals or people. When danger is detected, the Wolf Spider quickly enough turns upside down and stops showing signs of life. In such a relatively uncomfortable position for arthropods, the spider can be without movement for a long time until the threat has completely passed.

There are cases when a sharp and sudden attack on a Wolf Spider caused him aggression and provoked an arthropod to bite, which is not capable of directly threatening human life, but can cause pain, redness of the skin, and moderate swelling. In this case, it is recommended to attach an ice pack to the bite site, as well as take an antihistamine.

ConclusionWolf Spider: Species Profile 21

Spiders are very unusual pets. Even though they are very popular due to their unpretentiousness, small size, and unusual appearance, many owners of warm-blooded pets are horrified by watching the movement of Wolf Spiders around the aquarium.

Wolf Spiders are quite calm and comfortable to keep, since, unlike other arachnids, when a person appears, they hide, move poorly along vertical planes, and generally behave quite calmly both during feeding and during the period of gestation of a cocoon with eggs. Domestic spiders cannot be called friendly, but knowing the intricacies of care and what they eat, understanding their habits, you can easily keep them both in a private house and in a small city apartment.

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