Belongs to: spiders

Wolf spider Pirata piraticus


Best time to see: mid May to mid Aug

Key facts

Wolf spiders hunt for their prey rather than spinning webs to catch them but, unlike wolves, they hunt alone

This species is an ambush predator, found beside ponds and streams and in marshes

Widespread throughout Britain and across western and central Europe

Recognition

A strongly built and fast-moving spider – females up to 9mm, males around 6mm

Distinctive coloration: chestnut-coloured abdomen with white stripes the full length of its body

It has water-repellent hairs on its legs that allow it to walk across the water surface

Lifecycle

Courting males use a form of semaphore to signal their intentions to the female

Females carry about a single white egg-sac, attached to their spinnerets

After they hatch out, she carries the spiderlings about on her back until they are old enough to look after themselves

  • Main photo

Photo © Tony Gunton