Taxonomy of Beach Wolf Spider: Arthropoda » Arachnida » Araneae » Lycosidae » Arctosa » Littoralis
Image Source: Eric Eaton
This amazingly camouflaged spider measures 11-15 mm in length when reaching adulthood. They range from spotty browns, greys tans, and nearly whites to blend in with their preferred habitats. This spider hunts its prey so webs are not present unless the female is webbing up her eggs and egg sac for protection purposes. Wolf spiders, in general, are known to be very muscular and have keen eyesight. Scientists also are amazed by the way wolf spiders mother their spiderlings, carrying them on their back as spiderlings. They will also carry them under their body while still in the egg sac. Male spiders tend to live no longer than one year while the females can actually live several years.
This wolf spider is found commonly in sandy areas such as along the coast but not limited to this area. They like river banks, sand dunes, and other similar situations such as this. They are found all throughout the United States and southern Canada so don’t be fooled, these critters aren’t just beach bound. During the day, they hide in burrows, under driftwood, and other debris.
Lizards, birds, and some rodents can easily eat this wolf spider, but the most aggressive predator to the beach wolf spider is the spider wasp. These wasps can give a sting that paralyzes the spider and from there it will either eat the spider itself or bring it back to its larvae to eat. These same wasps inflict brood parasitism to this spider. It's paralyzing abilities to rid the females of their egg sac and replace it with their own to which will eat on the spider for the next few days until its death.
Generally, the wolf spider family is not medically significant when it comes to a human being bit. They will only bite a human when feeling threatened. Wolf spiders are very helpful in keeping the pest population controlled, and they're very beneficial to the humans.