What do Wolf Spiders Eat?

  • By: Charles Coleman
  • Date: December 18, 2021
  • Time to read: 9 min.

Wolf spiders are very common in North America, and can be found throughout the world. What do Wolf Spiders Eat? These spiders are mostly nocturnal hunters that feed on insects, arachnids, small frogs or toads, lizards, bird eggs and nestlings. They catch their prey by chasing it down using speed and agility rather than with webs like other spider species.

Wolf Spiders: Bites, Babies & Other Facts

Wolf spiders can be identified by their large eyes and hairy bodies that range in color from brown to black. The name “wolf spider” comes not because they hunt like wolves, but because they live near each other like wolves do in a pack. Wolf spiders are fast runners and prefer open areas where they can hide easily when threatened. In fact, wolf spiders will only bite if provoked or stepped on!

However, even though these bites aren’t fatal for humans, it is still important to seek medical attention immediately after being bitten as there may be complications that require treatment such as swelling or an allergic reaction.


Wolf spiders are large, hairy spiders that live in the wild. They have a bulbous body and long legs. They can be found on grasses, leaves, shrubs and other plants near water or damp areas like swamps. Adults range from 1/2 inch to 3 inches in length with leg spans of 6 inches or more. The female is usually larger than the male.

The spider’s color ranges from light brown to black with prominent white markings on the upper side of its abdomen (abdominal pattern). It also has two dark stripes running down each side of its cephalothorax (the fused head-and-thorax region where the eyes are located) to just past where it ends at the spinnerets (a spider’s silk-producing organs).


Wolf spiders can be identified by their long thin legs with hairy fringes on the end of each segment, which help them feel their way around without bumping into things or getting stuck on obstacles. Wolf spider bites are not serious but may cause pain and swelling that lasts for hours or days. Symptoms include redness, pain, itching and swelling at the site of the bite; nausea; headache; dizziness; blurred vision; fever (usually low); restlessness (especially in children).

Other symptoms depend on what type of toxin is injected during a bite: neurotoxins can result in respiratory failure, nausea and vomiting; hemotoxins can cause intense pain, swelling of tissues around the bite area or causing abdominal cramps.

Habits and Feeding

Wolf Spiders feed on a wide variety of prey including insects and other spiders. Their diet consists mainly of small insects such as crickets and flies that the spider captures in the web while these insects attempt to fly through it looking for food or escape from predators.

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The wolf spider also hunts for crickets outside its web by using its keen eyesight to spot them from a distance, then approaches them with stealthy steps before pouncing quickly when close enough. This is an effective hunting strategy which allows the wolf spider to catch fast-moving prey without alerting them beforehand with vibrations made by the web.


Mating for wolf spiders is a very complicated process that often involves an elaborate courtship dance between males and females. After mating has taken place the female will lay her eggs within an egg sac and attach it to a substrate- often the underside of a rock, log or leaf. The eggs will hatch after about two weeks and the spiderlings will remain in the maternal care of their mother until they’re large enough to fend for themselves.


Taxonomy is the science of classification and nomenclature. The word itself comes from the Greek language, meaning “order” or “arrangement;” in short, it refers to how we categorize living things into groups and then assign them names. Taxonomy can be used both as a means for scientific research and as a tool for teaching about biology.

Kingdom: Animalia

The kingdom Animalia is the largest of all kingdoms. It includes all multicellular organisms which are not plants, fungi or protists. The animal kingdom contains a vast diversity of living beings, including animals like ants and humans; invertebrates such as spiders and jellyfish; mammals like dogs and cats; birds like seagulls; fish like salmon; amphibians such as frogs. Some other types of animals that can be found in this kingdom are mollusks (like octopuses); arthropods (like beetles) and worms.

Subkingdom: Bilateria

Bilateria is a subkingdom of animals. It includes animals with bilateral symmetry, which means that the body can be divided into roughly symmetrical left and right halves. That’s what you see when you look in the mirror—a bilaterally symmetrical animal! There are many other types of animals, but they are all members of either one or more of these three phyla: Annelida (segmented worms), Arthropoda (arachnids and insects), or Chordata (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds). The following chart shows how diverse Bilateria is.

Infrakingdom: Protostomia

Wolf spiders are a type of spider that is found all over the world, and they live in many different habitats. The wolf spider gets its name from its hunting habits, which involve chasing down prey to eat it. They are also one of the largest types of spiders out there, but despite their size they have very poor eyesight so they rely on vibrations to find food. Wolf Spiders are not venomous so they use their fangs to inject enzymes into insects or other small animals before eating them alive. They can eat up to three times their own weight at once!

Superphylum: Ecdysozoa

In the animal kingdom, spiders are classified as arachnids. This means they belong to a group of animals that includes scorpions, ticks and mites. Spiders have been around since before the dinosaurs roamed the earth! Some scientists believe they may have been here even before plants were created on Earth. All living things share one thing in common: DNA! Your DNA is what makes you who you are–and it’s also what makes every other living creature unique too! You can use your DNA to figure out where your ancestors came from or how closely related you are to another person or animal.

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Phylum: Arthropoda

Wolf spiders are in the phylum arthropoda, which is a group of invertebrates that includes insects, crustaceans and many other creatures. The word means “jointed feet” in Greek. All arthropods have exoskeletons made up of chitin and protein that covers their bodies and hardens when they grow to provide protection against predators.

They also have segmented bodies with three pairs of jointed legs on most parts of the body except for the head or tail end where there may be fewer or no joints at all. Because wolf spiders are so closely related to insects, it makes sense that they share similarities such as six simple eyes arranged around an almost spherical head with two small eyes in front and four large eyes on the top of its head.

Subphylum: Chelicerata

Spider is an animal that has eight legs and at least two body parts (head and thorax), which may be fused together into a cephalothorax or separated like those of other arthropods. It also has six pairs of appendages on its head; these include two large pedipalps with pincers at the end for grabbing prey.

Spiders’ mouths consist primarily of chelicingae (a pair of hollow fangs connected to venom glands), and a few tiny mouthparts called chelicerae up near the base. In addition, spiders have two small appendages located between their jaws used for smelling or tasting food while eating.

Class: Arachnida

Most people think that all spiders eat insects but this is not always true. Some spider species don’t eat anything at all! Scorpions do not have mouths so they can’t eat solid food like other animals do; instead they digest their prey in their stomachs with digestive juices before it passes out through the anus as liquid waste called “molts.”

Ticks feed on blood from mammals or birds, but will also consume nectar when they can find it because they need sugar to survive. Mites live in soil and feed on small organisms such as fungi, algae, and other types of mites.

Order: Araneae

The Order Araneae is a large group of spiders, consisting of over 28,000 species in more than 2,200 genera. The order is split into two suborders: the Mesothelae and Opisthothelae (sometimes called Orthognatha). Members of the Opisthothelae are sometimes referred to as “true” spiders because they have eight eyes.

They also lack spinnerets which produce silk that would be used to build webs for catching prey. Instead these members use their silk glands to create cocoons or egg sacs for reproduction purposes. Members of the suborder Mesothelae are often referred to as “false” spiders because they don’t have any kind of eye arrangement at all.

Family: Lycosidae

Wolf spiders are members of the Lycosidae family. That means that they’re close relatives to other spiders such as the Black Widow and Brown Recluse, who both have venomous bites. The wolf spider’s bite is harmless though, so you don’t need to worry about it!

See also  Spiders That Look Like Crabs

Wolf Spiders get their name from their big hairy bodies and long legs which make them look like a cross between a wolf and a house cat. They also hunt at night like cats do, stalking prey on the ground or in low vegetation with quick bursts of speed before pouncing on it and eating it whole.

FAQs about Wolf Spiders

What do wolf spiders like to eat?

Wolf spiders usually eat a variety of insects and other invertebrates. They have even been known to capture small lizards, snakes, or frogs when they can find them! People who study these creatures in the wild often see wolf spiders carrying around their prey after killing it with venomous bites.

How do wolf spiders hunt?

Their favorite prey is usually small insects and other invertebrates. Some wolf spiders even eat other smaller types of arachnids, such as scorpions or daddy-long legs!

They use their keen eyesight to hunt for food at night time by looking through the tips of long hairs on their legs. These tiny haired structures called trichobothria act as sensory organs, giving the spider a sense of touch and taste. When insect prey is nearby, they use their venomous fangs to attack.

What do wild wolf spiders eat?

Wolf spiders are opportunistic predators and feed on a variety of prey that is available to them. Their diet usually consists of small insects, but they have also been known to eat other invertebrates such as centipedes, millipedes, and even some vertebrates such as lizards, snakes or frogs.

They use their keen eyesight to hunt for food at night time by looking through the tips of long hairs on their legs. These tiny haired structures called trichobothria act as sensory organs, giving the spider a sense of touch and taste. When insect prey is nearby, they use their venomous fangs to attack.

What do pet wolf spiders eat?

The diet of a pet wolf spider will vary depending on the type and size of spider. Most wolf spiders are generalist predators and eat small insects, but some larger species may require larger prey such as crickets or cockroaches.

It is important to provide your spider with food that is appropriate in size, so they don’t become injured or cannibalistic. You can also offer your spider water by moistening a small piece of paper towel and placing it in the cage. This will help keep your spider hydrated.

What do baby wolf spiders eat?

Baby wolf spiders will eat small insects that are appropriate in size for their mouth. It is important to provide your spider with food that is appropriate in size, so they don’t become injured or cannibalistic. You can also offer your spider water by moistening a small piece of paper towel and placing it in the cage. This will help keep your spider hydrated.

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