Wolf Spider

©Janet Packham

Wolf Spider

Scientific name: Pardosa amentata
The Wolf Spider can be found in a wide range of habitats, including the garden. It hunts down its prey, leaping on it just like a wolf. Spiders are beneficial neighbours, helping to manage garden pests.

Species information

Statistics

Body length: 6-8mm

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

March to July

About

The Wolf Spider is a medium-sized spider that hunts on the ground during the day; it chases down its prey and leaps on it, just like a wolf. It frequents gardens and grasslands, as well as a variety of other habitats, and can often be seen sunbathing or running across the ground. The female carries her round egg-sac underneath the back end of her body, attached to the organs that produce silk, called the 'spinnerets'. She will carry the young on her back for a few days after they hatch.

How to identify

The Wolf Spider shows various patterns of dark grey, brown and black, and is quite hairy. There are several species of wolf spider, which are very difficult to tell apart.

Distribution

Widespread.

Did you know?

Wolf Spider young disperse by using silk 'parachutes' to float away on the wind.

How people can help

Our gardens are a vital resource for wildlife, providing corridors of green space between open countryside, allowing species to move about. In fact, the UK's gardens provide more space for nature than all the National Nature Reserves put together. So why not try planting native plants and trees to entice birds, mammals and invertebrates into your backyard? To find out more about encouraging wildlife into your garden, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.