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Identification Assistance - Wolf Spider or Tarantula?

Discussion in 'True Spiders & Other Arachnids' started by smalpree, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. smalpree

    smalpree Arachnopeon

    I caught this in the driveway and saved it to release today while the children were napping. I fed it 2 grass hoppers and a large June bug last night and it practically ate every bit except the hardest part of the body like the out wings and a couple of legs. There was nothing of the grass hoppers left at all.

    I believe it is a wolf spider. the size of it is just about 3.5 to 3.75 inches. The spider was bigger than the palm of my hand which is 3.5 inches. I have lived in this part of Texas my whole life and have never seen a wolf spider anywhere close to this size.

    IMG_6225.jpg IMG_6231.jpg IMG_6244.jpg IMG_6249.jpg IMG_6253.jpg
  2. paassatt

    paassatt Arachnoangel

    Wolf spiders and tarantulas are very different, and definitely can't be confused for one another. Tarantulas are part of the infraorder Mygalomorphae, meaning their fangs move up and down, while wolf spiders are part of the infraorder Araneomorphae- their fangs move side to side.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Bjoern Elksnat

    Bjoern Elksnat Arachnosquire

    short answer: your spider is a wolf spider. beauty she is!

    Regards, Björn
  4. jbm150

    jbm150 Arachnoprince

    What a magnificent find! Definitely a wolf, I couldn't tell you the species though
  5. pitbulllady

    pitbulllady Arachnoking Old Timer

    That is one gorgeous Wolf Spider, almost certain a Hogna species, a very, very different animal from a tarantula and easily distinguished by those large, foreward-facing eyes and those downward-pointed chelicerae. That third pic down from the top, in which the false "eye spots" on the front of her abdomen, is simply lovely to look at! I don't think I've ever seen one with a pattern like that.

    • Like Like x 2
  6. The Snark

    The Snark ArachnoGod Old Timer

    Beautiful critter!
    Pittbulllady, where do you see the chelicerea? I'm not seeing squirt!
    Is it just my imagination or do lycos look just like gigantic salticids to anyone else?
  7. Ciphor

    Ciphor Arachnoprince

    Chelicera are the mouth parts of the subphylum Chelicerata, which spiders are a part of. They are the two appendages that the fangs are attached to. They take the place of mandibles. To clarify, all spiders chelicera point downward. The fangs sit at the end of the chelicera and depending on the infraorder they either swing inward or swing downward.

    I'd agree with Hogna sp. and go a step further to say this is likely Hogna carolinensis

    Orangish chelicera, big spider, black on ventral coxa, etc. Pretty characteristic. Its one of the few spiders in this look-a-like-lycosa group that can be separated out sometimes.
    • Like Like x 2
  8. ctenid

    ctenid Arachnopeon

    Classic Lycoside! Like all the "true spiders" or what used to be classified as the Labidognatha sub order in taxonomy, its eyes are arranged on the anterior portion of its "head" and its fangs are di-axial vs co-axial, where co-axial (stabbing downward) is characteristic of the Mygalomorphs (Tarantulas or primitive spiders).
  9. loxoscelesfear

    loxoscelesfear Arachnoangel Old Timer

    Hogna carolinensis. Very common in TX and what ventral portion is exposed in the photo matches carolinensis.
  10. maxxxieee

    maxxxieee Arachnopeon

    I believe that is one very large and very beautiful wolfie! Great photos btw! :)