Some of the largest spiders encountered in Montana are wolf spiders (family Lycosidae). Kelly’s chapstick, which is close to two inches long, is a good indicator of size for this particular one. Most wolf spiders live on the ground and hunt for prey at night. Long legs adapted for running and good eyesight allow them to chase down their prey — 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 grey 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.
Photo by Kelly Dix on 10/8/20 in Lolo, MT