Sunday, August 1, 2010

One Big Honkin' Spider

Okay, so the title was fair warning for those that don't care for spiders.
Or pictures of spiders.
Or pictures of people holding spiders.

Because I know a little bit about a lot of stuff, it's important to me to know just a little bit more.
First, this is the largest Wolf spider I've ever encountered.
What does that mean?
It means I have to find out why this one is so large, when the others around here are just 'medium'.
Sounds like I'm ordering a soda or something.
Small, medium, large and supersized insects.

Anyway, in my research, it turns out there are.......get ready........

Let me backtrack to Biology class, first.
No moaning, you know you need to learn something new every day to keep your brain sharp.

Remember the order of all living things goes like this.
I'll add the latin junk that goes with my spider in parenthesis.

Kingdom (Animalia)
Phyllum (Anthropoda)
Class (Arachnida)
Order (Araneae)
Family (Lycosoidae---Wolf Spiders)
Genus (Hogna--my spider)
Species (Helluo--my spider)

Her name (yes, it's female based on the size) would be H. helluo.
If you're ever at a dinner party and seated next to an entomologist, you'll have this to say...

"You know, I was just reading the other day about the ginormous size of an H. helluo Wolf spider found in a crazy, bug-loving lady's pool and how her husband rescued it and then knew right away to come get her cuz she'd want a picture of it and then would blog about it...."

Okay, so here are the numbers, in case you want something to keep you up at night.

Within the family of just Wolf spiders, there are 12 superfamilies.
Within those 12 families, there are 4,000 different (kinds) species.

Now, before you move to Antarctica (no Wolf spiders there), remember these things:

1. All 4,ooo kinds do not live in North America.

2. They are fabulous hunters of bugs that we don't like.

3. They are venomous, BUT, they won't bite you unless you really mess with one.

4. The bite will only hurt. They are not considered a spider that should send you running to the ER on a Sunday evening.

5. They will go out of their way to avoid you. No crawling in your sleeping bag for this spider.

Be sure to study. There'll be a quiz on Friday


  1. Dang, all that Latin nomenclature sent me right back to a gosh-awful biology class. I'll probably do rotten on your test too.

    And, Helluo! That is one big momma wolf-spider. Is there a fight there between the ranchers and the tree huggers to annihilate-or-protect them? A pack of them could give the wolves in Yellowstone Park a run for their money.

    Nothing with eight legs grows that big here. And I'm kinda glad.

  2. Wow, you know your bugs! I think bugs are intersting, but I wont ever be caught holding a wolf spider in my hand!!!!!!! You are brave!!!

    Thanks for the biology class!


  3. Nope, no fights between tree huggers and ranchers over spiders, just water and coyotes. :)

    Alas, mrs. spider was dead in that shot--she succumbed to the pool water. I like bugs, but I'm not quite brave enough to hold most of them.

  4. Oh dear god. You made me heart stop this morning. But, it's still beating. Very fast right now. :D

  5. that is an awesome spider. wolf spiders are pretty gentle and i would totally hold one like that.

  6. GAH! I can't bear to learn anything about this creature. I'm terrified of spiders. Eeekkk!

    I think it was sent down by aliens to take over the earth!

    *running far away, screaming like a little girl*

  7. I love that you love spiders! And know so much about them. We love spiders around here too. I can't say we know as much about them as you do - or that we would actually hold them in our hand. Eeeeeeek! But we love them, and understand how beneficial they are. That's one beautiful big honkin' spider.