Female Wolf Spiders measure 4-11mm in total length. These medium-sized spiders have a carapace that is high and narrow with a light median stripe and light margins. The abdomen has a series of chevrons with paired dark dots. The tarsi and metatarsi are thinner than those of other lycosids. Males measure 4-6mm long and have color patterns similar to those of the females.
Wolf Spiders are found across the United States, north into Canada and south into Mexico. In San Diego County, they occur in most habitats, especially near water.
Pardosa carry egg sacs under the abdomen until the eggs hatch.
Related and Similar Species
Pardosa is one of the largest genera of spiders. Color patterns have limited use for identification purposes within the family of lycosids due to the variation within genera as well as similarities between genera. Reference to genitalia is usually necessary to identify species of any lycosids.
Vogel, B.R. 1970. Taxonomy and morphology of the sternalis and falcifera groups of Pardosa (Araneida: Lycosidae). Armadillo Papers 3:1-31.