The Wolf spider is not a single type of spider; instead, it consists of multiple species. Going after their prey has earned them the “Wolf” surname.
These species of spiders are very active and will chase their prey, unlike other spiders, which set out a web trap for hunting, or tarantulas which wait for prey to arrive at the doorstep before they attack it to make it their meal.
There are more than 2500 species of wolf spiders, and most of them are found in Madison city. These species are further subdivided into ~125 genera (In layman’s terms, 125 different types have close resemblance).
Madison City ranks on number 81 in united states population wise.
Madison City, located in the state of Wisconsin, is a beautiful city in the Midwest region of the United States. It is the capital of Wisconsin and the second-largest city in the state. Madison City is situated between the beautiful lakes Mendota and Monona, making it an attractive location for tourists and residents. However, Madison is also known as the home of many species of spiders.
Biodiversity of Madison City for Different Species of Spiders
The biodiversity of Madison City is remarkable, and it is home to numerous species of insects, including spiders. The city’s population is approximately 270,000, and the population density is around 3,200 people per square mile. The population affects spider species by providing them with a stable habitat and food sources. With many residential areas and commercial buildings, spiders can find abundant prey, such as other insects and arthropods, to feed on.
Besides other species of spiders, wolf spiders are quite common in Madison city. The most common types of wolf spiders found in Madison are the following:
- Rabid Wolf Spider
- Carolina Wolf Spider
- Dotted Wolf Spider
- Hogna Antelucana
- Tigrisa Helluo
- Ground wolf spider
- And a few other uncommon species of wolf spiders.
In this article, I will explain each type of these wolf spider below with pictures and details. Make sure to check out till the end.
Climate Conditions of Madison and its affects on Wolf Spiders
These species of wolf spiders are not just limited to Madison city; they are quite common in other parts of the united states. However, the population of these spiders is highly dependent on the climate of Madison city.
Madison City has a humid continental climate with warm summers and cold winters. The city experiences four distinct seasons throughout the year, including spring, summer, fall, and winter. The climate in Madison City is ideal for spiders to survive and thrive, as they can adapt to the changing temperatures and weather conditions.
Seasonality of Madison City
The number of distinct seasons in Madison City plays a vital role in the spider population in the city. During the winter months, the spider population decreases due to the cold temperatures, and many spiders go into hibernation. In the summer months, the spider population increases, and they are more active in building webs and catching prey. The average winter temperature in Madison City is around 23°F, while the average summer temperature is around 82°F.
These distinct seasons help the wolf spider population in the city, but the drastic environmental changes affect the overall duration of these seasons. At times, the Madison city can experience extreme temperatures, which puts the wolf spider population at risk.
The Overall Madison City Grennary:
Wolf spiders mainly rely on small insects to survive and thrive. The species and types of wolf spiders found in Madison city are highly dependent on the city’s greenery percentage.
In the end, the life cycle of these cute little arthropods is bonded with nature.
Madison City’s green lands and forests cover around 48% of the city area, making it an ideal habitat for spiders to thrive and survive. The plantation of trees and other plants in these areas provides an excellent environment for spiders to build webs and catch their prey. Backyard gardens also play a vital role in the survival of spider species, as they provide an additional food source for them.
Since wolf spiders prey on small insects, forests, grasslands, and muddy grounds help them to hide and attack at the appropriate time.
Residential buildings and apartments in Madison City help spiders survive due to central heating systems that keep temperatures stable throughout the year. The abundance of food sources and comfortable environments in these buildings make them an ideal location for spiders to live. Spiders can be found throughout Madison City, but they are most commonly found in residential areas and commercial buildings.
Wolf spiders are also fond of finding a nice heated spot inside a home and spending their entire lives there. The abundance of buildings in Madison city helps them do so. They will prey on small insects and complete their life cycle under an attic without moving in and out for their entire life.
All Types of Wolf Spiders in the Madison City
Now let’s move on to the details of all types of wolf spiders in Madison city and how they survive.
The following are the generic specifications of wolf spiders that make them different from other species.
- Wolf spiders are giant and slightly hairy, unlike tarantulas with excess hairs. They have a size ranging from 0.5 to 2 inches.
- The eyes of a wolf spider will shine in the light.
- Wolf spiders have eight dark eyes on its head (Refer to Image 1.1 for eye formation). A single row of four small eyes is at the front, right above its mouth. 2 large eyes are above these small four eyes, one on each side, like we humans, have. Two small eyes are above these 2, more like on the back of the head.
- Different wolf spiders have different colors, so it’s hard to identify them by looking at their color; however, you can identify specific species with their color. These spiders mainly have black, brown, tan, and grey color with dark highlights.
- Wolf spider bodies are long and broad. Their bodies are a little fattish and have long legs.
- Wolf spiders are excellent runners and will even go out to chase their prey.
There are around 125 types (Genera) of wolf spiders in the United States, with most of them found in Madison city.
I will briefly mention the most common species of wolf spiders found in Madison city.
1. Rabid Wolf Spider
The scientific name of the Rabid Wolf Spider is Rabidosa Rabida. It’s the most common species of wolf spider found in Madison city and is often referred to as the Wandering Spider.
This specie of wolf spider is almost found in all parts of the United States. According to Jackman 1997, it has been traced as far east as Maine and south as Florida.
The base color of a rabid wolf spider is a beige-light grey. This color goes across its body, including its legs. However, the first two legs of a male rabid wolf spider are a bit dark in color.
The most distinguishable feature of a rabid wolf spider is the dark brown color strips. There are two strips on the head & thorax region. And there is one strip on the back section. Additional thin strips are also visible, which can be noticed on close observation.
The eyes of a rabid wolf spider are like all other wolf spiders.
Female Rabid Wolf Spiders are around 16-22 mm long, and male spiders are smaller, with an average length of 13 mm.
2. Carolina wolf spider
Carolina Wolf Spider’s scientific name is Hogna Carolinensis. This is one of North America’s largest species of wolf spiders, and females can grow up to 35-40 mm. Learn more about wolf spider size here.
Although this wolf spider is named “Carolina,” it is equally common in Madison city.
Like other species of wolf spiders, these are commonly found in all parts of the united states. This wolf spider is also a burrowing spider that digs holes up to 8 inches deep to lay eggs and keep itself hidden from predators.
These species of spiders are highly dependent on the percentage of grasslands and backyard gardens in Madison city.
Many species of spiders have a similar look and feel to Carolina Wolf Spiders and can easily be confused. Hogna Antelucana is such an example that can resemble a Carolina wolf spider.
The base color of a Carolina wolf spider is Grey, but the hairs on its body can show multiple hues with another dominant dark brown color.
The most distinguishable feature of a Carolina Wolf Spider is the ventral leg patterning. A male spider can be completely black from the underside.
Carolina Wolf Spider has an identifiable head shape and markings, but other spiders share these markings in the same genre. It has a flat circular type head with markings like a landing falcon. A bright strip runs at the center. The back has chevron patterns. The underside of a Carolina Wolf Spider is dark.
The eyes of a Carolina wolf spider are like all other wolf spiders.
Female Carolina Wolf Spiders are around 22-35 mm long, and male spiders are smaller, with an average length of 18-22 mm.
3. Dotted Wolf Spider
The scientific name of the Dotted Wolf Spider is Rabidosa Punctulata. This species of wolf spider is also quite common in Madison city.
Rabid Wolf Spiders and Dotted wolf spiders are pretty similar in look, except for dots at the bottom.
Like Rabid Wolf Spiders, Dotted Wolf Spiders also have a beige-light grey as their base color. It has two dark straps on its head and one on its abdomen.
The primary difference and distinguishable feature are under its belly. There are clear dots that help identify a dotted wolf spider.
Dotted wolf spiders are tiny and smaller than rabid wolf spiders. Male dotted wolf spiders are around 13-15 mm in length, and female spiders are around 15-20mm.
4. Hogna Antelucana
Hogna Antelucana is a species of wolf spider and high resembles Carolina Wolf Spider in shape and features. Hogna Antelucana is the scientific name of this spider and it’s not known by a common name. These spiders are also often spotted in Madison city.
The most identifiable feature of a Hogna Antelucana is its underside. It has an entirely black ventral body.
Other features are just like a Carolina wolf spider with a bright beige khaki line on its head and a landing falcon brown strips.
At patterns on the abdomen is hard to define in words as its quite complex, but you can see them below in the images.
Like other wolf spider species, it has a set of 8 eyes, with four in the first row, two large in the center row, and two medium-sized at the back of its head.
5. Tigrosa Helluo
Tigrisa Helluo is a specie of wolf spider with quite a rounded body. This spider is also not known by a common name and is mostly referred to by its scientific name Tigrosa Helluo.
It’s a smaller species of wolf spider.
If you look at a Tigrosa Helluo, you will quickly realize that it’s a darker version of a normal Hogna Antelucana.
Tigrosa Helluo has a distinct yellow stripe starting which starts at the middle of the main two eyes and extends till the start of its abdomen. The yellow-orange color fades out as it proceeds toward the abdomen.
Its head’s markings resemble a Hogna Antelucana, but it’s quite dark. The abdomen is also dark grey in color with fewer marks and texture. A series of dots are also marked in an oval shape across its abdomen.
From the underside, Tigrosa Helluo has a dark at the joining section of its legs. The leg tips gradually become dark.
Just like other species of spiders, the abdomen of a female Tigrosa Helluo is quite round and large in size. While a male Tigrosa Helluo has a slim abdomen. These spiders are also found across the united states.
A female Tigrosa Helluo is around 18-21 mm and a male 10-12 mm body length.
6. Ground Wolf Spider
The scientific name of the Ground wolf spider is Trochosa Terricola. It belongs to the Trochosa genus of wolf spiders and is known for praying pompilid wasps. Ground wolf spiders are quite common in Madison city.
An inexperienced eye can easily confuse a Trochosa Terricola for a Tigrosa Helluo. They are more similar looking with dark grey colors, and females have round bodies with tiny hairs.
The main difference lies in the patterns on its bodies. Ground wolf spiders have a rich pattern on its head instead of a straight line. Chelceras are also dark brown without any substantial color variation.
The abdomen of a ground wolf spider has random bright spots, which make them different from Tigrosa Helluo.
The body length of a Male Trochosa Terricola is around 7-9 mm and females are 7-14 mm long.
7. Other Popular Species of Wolf Spiders in Madison City:
The following species of wolf spiders are also widely known to be present in Madison city, but for now, I am not going to share complete details about them, and will rely on a short intro for each: more details on them and will rely on mentioning their names.
A. Pardosa Milvina (Shore Wolf Spider)
The Pardosa milvina, also known as the shore wolf spider, is a species of spider that is commonly found near water sources, such as along the edges of rivers and streams in the city of Madison. These spiders are medium in size, with a body length of about 8-12mm. They are brown in color and have distinctive markings on their abdomen.
B. Lycosa Tarantula Wolf Spider
The Lycosa tarantula, also known as the tarantula wolf spider, is a large, hairy spider that is native to Europe and parts of Asia but they are still found in Madison city. These spiders can reach sizes of up to 5cm in body length, and are known for their distinctive, velvety black fur. They are nocturnal creatures that prefer to live in burrows in the ground.
C. Pardosa Amentata (Spotted Wolf Spider)
The Pardosa amentata, also known as the spotted wolf spider, is a species of spider that is native to North America and commonly found in the Madison city. These spiders are medium in size, with a body length of about 8-12mm. They are brown in color and have distinctive white markings on their abdomen. They are known for their fast, agile movements and are often found hunting for insects in grassy areas.
D. Geolycosa Missouriensis
Geolycosa missouriensis is a species of wolf spider that is native to the United States and often spotted in Madison city. These spiders are medium in size, with a body length of about 8-12mm. They are brown in color and have distinctive white markings on their abdomen. They are commonly found in grassy areas and are known for their fast, agile movements.
E. Schizocosa Mccooki
Schizocosa mccooki is a species of wolf spider that is native to the United States. These spiders are medium in size, with a body length of about 8-12mm. They are brown in color and have distinctive white markings on their abdomen. They are commonly found in grassy areas around Madison city and are known for their fast, agile movements.
F. Pardosa Vancouveri
Pardosa vancouveri is a species of wolf spider that is native to North America. These spiders are medium in size, with a body length of about 8-12mm. They are brown in color and have distinctive white markings on their abdomen. They are commonly found in grassy areas and are known for their fast, agile movements.
G. The Arctic wolf spider
The Arctic wolf spider is a species of spider that is native to the Arctic regions of North America and Europe. These spiders are small in size, with a body length of about 6-8mm. They are brown in color and have distinctive white markings on their abdomen. They are adapted to survive in extreme cold temperatures and are commonly found in tundra and polar desert habitats. They can be sometimes spotted in the Madison city.
Habitat of a Wolf Spider in the City of Madison
Unlike other species of spiders, these wolf spiders of Madison don’t hang up near the ceiling or trees; rather they spend most of their life on the ground. However, they can climb trees, walls, and other objects if needed.
A few species of wolf spiders are clever to dig holes in the ground, more like burrows, to live inside them. Their dark brown colors help them camouflage from predators and prey. There for the green spaces in the Madison city are extremly important for wolf spiders survival.
Generally, they will seek a hiding spot like under a rock or logs to live in. However, as far as location is concerned, these spiders are found across the globe in all sorts of environments.
Where ever there are insects to feed one, wolf spiders will thrive in that location.
Wolf spiders are solitary and nocturnal. They don’t live in the form of a colony or a nest. Every adult spider is its own, male or female. They usually hunt at night and stay hidden in the daytime.
Wolf spiders can find their way into a house via gaps, breezeways, or other openings searching for food and a location to hide.
In conclusion, the blog post about wolf spiders in Madison City provided an in-depth look at the various types of wolf spiders that can be found in the city. From the Rabid Wolf Spider to the Lycosa tarantula, the post highlighted the unique characteristics and habitats of each species.
It is clear that there is a diverse range of wolf spiders present in Madison City, each with its own distinctive appearance and behavior. Overall, the blog post serves as a useful resource for those interested in learning more about the wolf spiders of Madison City.