Two-Coloured or Desert Wolf Spider
- Colour: Females: ochre cephalothorax, black abdomen with ochre median band of variable witdth; base of legs black; Males: unicolorous grey-brown.
- The Desert Wolf Spider, as any wolf spider, has 8 eyes which are not equal sizes arranged in 3 rows. The bottom row has four small eyes, four larger eyes are arranged on top of the cephalothorax in a square.
- Size: Females 2.15 – 2.5 cm, males 1 – 2 cm.
- Diet: opportunistic, bottom-dwelling arthorpods, in particular insects and spiders.
- Movement: Open, vertical burrow; frequently on well compacted soil ('arid red earth', 'desert loams'), vegetation Mulga Acacia aneura, Eucalyptus woodlands on red loams, and sometimes Mallee or Triodia an clay-loams.
- Breeding: details unknown, females carry eggsac fixed to their spinnerets and subsequently spiderlings on their abdomen, but have never been observed with brood; mature males from August to April.
What to Observe
- Females carrying eggsacs or spiderlings
ClimateWatch Science Advisor
Spiders may start appearing earlier in the year as a result of climate change warming the earth, and they may also start breeding earlier and appearing in areas that were previously too cold for them. However, at present in some areas, spiders have been appearing much later in the year than expected due to fluctuating temperatures and rain.
When To Look
- All year round
- It is nocturnal, so is best observed by spotlighting at night.
Where To Look
It is fairly common in the arid zone and can be found in WA, NT, SA, Qld and western NSW.
The map below displays the accumulated observations of these species as reported by ClimateWatch observers, together with the layer showing how the range of the species might change between now and 2085, with orange areas indicating where the species might disappear, and green areas where the species range might expand.
Langlands, P. & Framenau, V.W. (2010). Systematic revision of Hoggicosa Roewer, 1960, the Australian ‘bicolor’ group of wolf spiders (Araneae: Lycosidae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 158, 83-123.
Storr’s Wolf Spider (Hoggicosa storri), but this species lacks the light median band on the abdomen and the leg pattern is different with dark segments in the middle rather than at the base.
Did You Know?
Immatures look like females, with distinct bicoloured pattern, but male drops its colour after moulting to maturity appearing quite drab.