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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Wolf Spider


This is a larger wolf spider in its burrow. These spiders are very shy and hide if they sense large motion around the burrow. I spotted the motion of the retreat into its burrow. To get the picture I had to wait a number of minutes before it even came out this far. I used my zoom lens to get this.

The hole was about an inch in diameter. I found a molted skin by the hole as well as the empty husks of yellow jackets. Desperately hungry yellow jackets carelessly searching for a meal anywhere are an easy meal for an ambush predator.

I found out how to tell the difference between a tarantula hole and a wolf spider burrow in one of my new books, A Field Guide to Desert Holes by Pinau Merlin. The wolf spider burrow has a "collar" of silk woven twigs and grass around the hole. It's theorized that this might be for flood control. The burrow can spiral twelve inches into the soil. A tarantula hole can be a half an inch larger in diameter, it's length is "J" shape, has no collar, and is often sealed with silk during the day.

I think I'll revisit this hole in the early evening with a ruler, some crickets and a flashlight. ;) Posted by Picasa

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