Scientific name: Hogna carolinensis
The Carolina Wolf Spider is found all throughout the United States and southern Canada. They prefer to live in burrows under rocks and logs.
Appearance / health:
The Carolina Wolf Spider is the largest species of wolf spider in all of North America. They can reach up to 4 inches including legspan. Body coloration is varied depending on where this species is caught. Normally, they are grey or brown with some other colors such as black and white marbled throughout their body creating patterns. The underside of their bodies usually a black color.
Behavior / temperament:
The Carolina Wolf Spider is a display pet only. It should not be handled as it is very fast and you can easily lose this spider. Also, they will bite if provoked enough. The bite usually has no lasting effects but may cause swelling, itching, and redness. Other than that, they are a very active fun spider to add to your collection. They are good for advanced beginners and experts alike.
Adults will live comfortably in a 2-5 gallon tank. Baby and younger specimens may live in smaller plastic containers or critter keepers until ready for the large adult enclosure. Always have a secure top so the spider can not escape.
Temperatures will vary between locations where these wolf spiders are caught, but they will do fine with temps between 75-85F. Humidity levels should stay around the same, at 75-85%. Substrate should be potting soil, peat, vermiculite or a combination of both kept 3-5 inches deep. Tank décor is not really needed but cork flats may be laid on the substrate along with rocks and other items. This will allow cover for the burrows. Mist the tank 1-2 times a week to keep the substrate moist enough for burrowing.
Adults do best on a varied diet of large insects. These include but are not limited to crickets, cockroaches, moths, and other large insects. Baby and younger specimens should be fed pin head crickets, small flies, and other smaller appropriately sized insects.
My 7 legged Wolf Spider
As an insect collector, I used to always be digging in the dirt looking for critters. Eventually, I began to find Wolf Spiders. Since they were bigger than the typical little spiders I was accustomed to finding, I was very excited when I found one. I found 4 in the dirt in my back yard one summer. One of them I put in my terrarium with my Giant African Millipede and my Fire Bellied Toad.
I named him Einstein. It turned out to be an apt name because he was very clever. He learned the habits of my Fire Bellied Toad and avoided him, going way out of his way to avoid being in the toad's feeding range. Occasionally, he got within the toad's striking range, but Einstein would rear up on his hind legs and raise his front legs high. My toad, was clearly unsure if he could handle this big beast. They would move forward and back, stuck in a stand-off, until Einstein finally felt he could slowly back away to a safe distance.
Wolf Spiders are ground spiders and don't live in webs, but dig burrows in the dirt. Einstein had only 7 legs. Apparently he had a troubled past before I found him. I watched him slowly stalk small crickets like a lion stalking prey. He would move only one leg at a time very slowly. When within range, he would strike like lightning. Also, from time to time, I would crush a cricket in tweezers and reach in and hold it above him. He would stand up on his hind legs, grab the prize and enshroud it faster than you could believe, rolling it around while wrapping it in silk. Then he would either take it back to his den for storage or sink his fangs in and start feeding.
I put lots of little critters in my terrarium. One day I sat for an hour and watched as Einstein observed carefully a very small, carefree spider wandering to and fro across the back of the terrarium. This little spider went back and forth over the same path dozens of times. Then my clever Einstein moved into that exact path and hid behind a little lump of dirt. He crouched his back end down and raised his front legs, facing the direction the little hapless spider would return from. Sure enough the little spider came along and Einstein did not move until his prey actually touched him. Like the jaws of death his mighty legs snapped down! Then, Einstein and I both looked around in wonder because the spider was gone. Then I saw him about 12 inches away strolling around as if nothing had happened. This spider had eluded Einstein moving so fast that I could not see him! Einstein found a new spot and got set again. This tiny spider evaded Einstein with his lightning speed at least 6 times as I watched laughing. Finally, my 7 legged friend gave up, went to his den, and pulled out a fly he had stored there wrapped in silk. He sat outside his burrow and sucked the juices out of the fly.
I think I inadvertently caused Einstein's demise. I fed a couple of Wolf Spiders, which I crushed with tweezers, to my Fire Bellied Toad. I think this caused him to realize he could take down Einstein if their paths crossed again. Unfortunately, I never saw Einstein after this.
I love animals and insects and critters of all kinds. Observing Einstein was one of the highlights of my experience with living creatures.
From Sling Apr 6 2011 1:30AM
Easy But Not Social
Still to this day, I am not quite sure how I came to take care of Wicked, but she sat in a moss covered ten gallon aquarium and drew the attention of everyone who visited my studio. The spider, although nervous around a great deal of activity was very easy to care for, until she started preparing to be a mother, and then I knew she had to go to someone who could better care for her new family.
Taking care of a spider is easy: feed crickets, make room for them to crawl around, don't let them get too cold.
Some people are sensitive or allergic to spider venom. I do not recommend handling for children..
From ARMillerWolfe Nov 21 2012 8:57PM