Despite its scary name, the Rabid wolf spider (Rabidosa Rabida) is harmless to people and not rabid.
Rabid wolf spider: Description.
The Rabid wolf spider is a common Missouri wolf spider. It typically hides in leaf litter and sometimes gets into houses.
The Rabid wolf spider can easily be identified by the small white, eyebrow-like marks located behind their eyes. Additionally, if you look closely at the broad brown stripe that outlines its abdomen from top to bottom, you will find tiny whitish spots near where it meets the tan lines on either side of it – meaning this stripe is excellent in hue.
Resembling their fellow wolf spider brethren, these agile arachnids don’t spin webs but pursue their quarry like a wild canine – making them the wolves of the spider world.
Female Rabid wolf spiders are celebrated for their outstanding maternal care, which can be witnessed when they carry blue-grayish egg cases no bigger than a pea. If by chance, these mothers lose their bundles of joy, they will frantically look until it is located and then immediately rush away with them in tow. What’s more, after hatching, spiderlings stay close to mommy’s abdomen while being nurtured before venturing into the universe on their own.
Males of this species have the first pair of black or dark brown legs.
Are Rabid wolf spiders dangerous?
The Rabid Wolf spider, like its fellow arachnids, uses venom to paralyze prey. However, if disturbed in any way or mishandled by humans, it could bite and cause a few hours of discomfort. Though unpleasant, the Rabid wolf spider’s bites are not considered medically significant.
Despite its ominous name, this species cannot be rabid – only mammals are susceptible to the rabies virus. But, perhaps, it was given its appellation due to its elegant movements as if in an agitated state. So, let’s bequeath an appropriate and fair common name for this fascinating arachnid!
Further recommended reading about spiders.
Spider pages: Learn how to identify and avoid these spiders.
Black Spiders: How to identify them.
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