Wolf Spider

Pardosa Milvina

Quick Facts

  • Species

    Native

  • Habitat

    Pardosa milvina can be found in dry woodlands or along streams and ponds.

  • Range

    Pardosa milvina are widespread throughout most of North America.

  • Diet

    Insects, insect eggs and other spiders

  • Status

    Stable

Pardosa milvina is a common species of wolf spider. They are black or brown with lengthwise stripes and long, thin legs.

Appearance

Wolf spiders are black or brown and have light and dark lengthwise stripes across their bodies. They have three rows of dark eyes in sets of four, two and two, with the first row being the smallest. It is very difficult for non-experts to distinguish the species Pardosa milvina from others in its family, but there are a few distinguishing characteristics. P. milvina has long, thin legs without scopulae, or claw tufts that would allow them to climb smooth surfaces. Their stripes are somewhat wavy and they have yellow spots on their abdomen. Females are larger than males, 5.1 to 6.4 millimeters compared with 4.3 to 5 millimeters in length, and the males have white hairs on part of their legs.

Feeding

Wolf spiders are carnivorous. Unlike most wolf spiders, Pardosa milvina waits for prey to approach rather than actively hunting. It will inject its prey with venom and suck out its fluids. Prey includes insects like grasshoppers and ants, insect eggs and other spiders.

Predators

Predators include small mammals, reptiles and amphibians, as well as spider-eating birds.

Reproduction and Life Cycle

Wolf spiders mate in the spring. On sunny days, males will perform courtship dances to attract females (though if they’re not careful, they may become the female’s prey instead of her mate). After mating, the eggs are laid and gathered into a green egg sac. The mother carries the sac on her back until the eggs are ready to hatch, at which time she helps open the sac so the babies can escape. There may be more than 100 babies that hatch. The young will all climb on her back in layers and stay there for the next week before becoming independent. 

Did You Know?

  • There are around 2,500 species of wolf spider in the world.
  • Wolf spiders don’t create shelters or webs—they roam over the ground through low vegetation.
  • Though they have eight eyes, Pardosa milvina has fairly poor eyesight and instead relies on vibrations to hunt.
  • Wolf spiders are the most common type of spider globally.

Sources and Additional Information

Quick Facts

  • Species

    Native

  • Habitat

    Pardosa milvina can be found in dry woodlands or along streams and ponds.

  • Range

    Pardosa milvina are widespread throughout most of North America.

  • Diet

    Insects, insect eggs and other spiders

  • Status

    Stable