Spring Is For Warming Up

Spotted Wolf Spider Pardosa amentata female

I have seen these spiders begin to emerge in the garden from the first warm days of spring when the sun has finally broken free of winter. They appear on the rocks, decking and paving around my pond in fairly large numbers, stretching out and warming up their bodies like sun worshippers. From a family of spiders called
Lycosidae, which comes from ancient Greek meaning ‘wolf’, these wolf spiders are very efficient hunters, with excellent eyesight, speed and agility.

Spotted Wolf Spider Pardosa amentata female


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Spotted Wolf Spider Pardosa amentata females, April 2018, rear garden, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman

Rustic Wolf Spider

Trochosa ruricola

Rustic Wolf Spider (Trochosa ruricola)
Female with egg-sac

This is a distinctly reddish-brown spider with a pale band running down the carapace, and is one of the larger species of wolf spider. The females have larger abdomens than the males. Body length up to 14mm.

It feeds on small invertebrates which it hunts down on the ground.

Seen all year round. Found under stones in grassland, and in damp places like woodland under leaf litter and moss. A common and widespread species throughout Britain.

Photograph of Rustic Wolf Spider (Trochosa ruricola), taken May 2012, local field, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2012. Camera used Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38.

Pardosa lugubris

Pardosa lugubris

The males of this species are quite dark greyish, with a distinctive pale central stripe, where the females are browner and lighter. One of the smaller species of wolf spider. Body length up to 6mm.

It feeds on small invertebrates which it hunts down on the ground.

Seen spring to early summer. They are found on woodland margins and clearings. A common and widespread species throughout Britain.

Photograph of Pardosa lugubris, taken July 2012, local woodland margin, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2012. Camera used Nikon Coolpix P500.