Pirate Wolf Spider – Pirata piraticus

Pirata from Greek “sea-robber”; piraticus from Latin “piratical”.

A distinctly marked wolf spider, with a purplish-brown, velvety abdomen with a yellow cardiac mark, and two white streaks on each side of the abdomen. Two longitudinal rows of small white dots also pepper the abdomen. It also has a pale V or Y mark on the brown carapace. The female is larger than the male, and they can grow up to 9mm long in body length. Microscopic examination of the genitalia may be required to distinguish it between other Pirata species.

They peak May to June but may be seen late April through to September. They are found in various wetland habitats including ponds and streams, and marshes and fens. Most active in sunny conditions where it ambushes its prey, and may be seen on or just below the water. The female spins a cocoon for her eggs and carries this with her attached to her spinnerets. Common and widespread throughout Britain.

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