Spotted Wolf Spider – Pardosa amentata

Pardosa is from Greek “spotted like a leopard”; amentata from Latin “furnished with a strap”.

This is our commonest wolf spider, and the one most likely to be found in gardens, especially in early spring and summer. The male carapace is much darker than the female, and it has large black palps. The female has a dark brown carapace with a lighter median band. The abdomens of both sexes are brownish with pale and dark spots. The female is larger than the male, and can grow up to 8 mm in body length. Similar to other Pardosa species, and microscopic examination of the genitalia is required to accuratley identify the species.

Nimble and fast, these wolf spiders hunt their prey on the ground. They feed on small invertebrates. Like many wolf spiders, during courtship, the male use their large palps and front legs to signal the female.

It matures between spring and autumn. It is often seen quite active in early spring, resting on rocks, logs and vegetation, warming in the sun. The female is seen carrying the white egg-sacs under its abdomen, or the spiderlings on her abdomen piggy-back style. Found in a wide variety of habitats, including grasslands, hedgerows, woodland margins, and gardens. An abundant and widespread species.