Big White Wolf Spider

2016 October 12

We were up at an annual gathering with friends on the old stamp sands near Eagle Harbor on July 30, 2016, where I was informed that a large spider had been spotted. This spider, in fact:


I unfortunately didn’t get a good size reference in the picture, but if I had gotten it into my hand, I think the legs would have stretched most of the width of my palm. And, it was a fairly uniform creamy-white color, which is unusual in a spider.


With the two very prominent eyes, this is quite clearly a wolf spider, which are mostly free-roaming hunters.


While it was found on some barren stamp sand, it was only maybe 40 feet from a small stream with vegetation, so I don’t know if it routinely hunted on the sand, or if it was normally closer to the stream and just happened to have strayed out.


I’m not seeing much in the way of close matches in my searches. The closest I’ve seen is this South Carolina specimen on Bugguide, which is only identified as being in the genus Hogna. Unfortunately, this creamy white coloration doesn’t seem to be characteristic of any of the identified species, it might be anomalously pale. So, aside from “big wolf spider”, I can’t really identify it more than that.

Still, it is a very big, beautiful spider, which is nice.

4 Responses
  1. Carole permalink
    October 12, 2016

    Looks like it would live on a dune.

  2. October 13, 2016

    Yes, on conventional white sand it would be practically invisible. And, it could possibly be something related to the Beach Wolf Spider, Arctosa littoralis. This dark sand is probably not its ideal environment, though, because it really stands out.

  3. Mark Sturtevant permalink
    October 14, 2016

    I came up with Hogna too. Apparently its a good idea to look at the underside to ID to species in Hogna, according to Bugguide. You could send it in to bugguide to see what they think.

  4. October 17, 2016

    Simply gorgeous.

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