Some of the largest spiders encountered in Montana are wolf spiders (family Lycosidae). Most live on the ground and hunt for their prey at night. Long legs adapted for running, along with good eyesight, allow them to chase down their meal—no web needed. Some dig burrows in the ground; others make holes under rocks, and many have no retreat at all. Forest Wolf Spiders can generally be identified by a wide gray stripe down the center of the carapace (hard upper “shell” of the cephalothorax) and white on the edges. They range from the Yukon Territory to Newfoundland, south to California and Alabama.

Size: Female: 11 to 14 mm; Male: 9 to 12 mm

Photo by: Kelly Dix on 5/3/22 in Lolo, MT