Large spider

Asked September 29, 2014, 10:34 PM EDT

What kind of spider is this. I live in Hesston pa . I found this spider and snapped a pic.

Huntingdon County Pennsylvania

1 Response

The spider in your picture is a type of wolf spider. I believe this is the species Hogna helluo (Walckenauer) (Order: Araneae, Family: Lycosidae). This species does not have a common name other than the generic "wolf spider" used for all the members of this family. These are some of the largest spiders we have in the Northeast U.S. They are relatively common, but seldom encountered due to their spending most of the daytime hours in burrows, or under rocks and logs. They come out at night to hunt for insects as their prey. Two of the eight eyes are greatly enlarged, which gives wolf spiders excellent vision compared to most other spiders. You can see these two larger eyes quite well in your photo. Female wolf spiders carry their silken egg sack around with them, and when the babies hatch, they will ride around on her back for a week or two until they disperse off on their own. Despite their large size and fearsome appearance, these spiders are usually quite timid and will run form danger, but if provoked, they will readily bite. There are reports that this spider is poisonous, but not lethal. However, further study has shown that poisonous bites attributed to wolf spiders, were usually caused by other types of spiders.The bite may be quite painful, and cause swelling and itching, much like a severe bee sting. but usually it is not more serious than that. If you search the internet for wolf spider, or more specifically for Hogna helluo, you will find much more information and photos of these interesting creatures.