- filtered for Bosnia/Herzegowina
Images and Species Descriptions
Text and photographs © 2011 Jørgen Lissner
The Spiders of Europe and Greenland
Family: Lycosidae (Wolf Spiders)
Biology: The Lycosidae is the fourth largest spider family of the world encompassing ca 2320 species in 7 subfamilies and 107 genera. They range in size from small to very large (2.8-45 mm body size). Most species are hunting spiders at ground level using no web for catching prey. However spiders of a few genera such as Aulonia and Sosippus make sheet webs provided with a funnel retreat, very similar to the webs of agelenid spiders. Spiders of some lycosid genera make burrows in the ground lined with silk serving as retreats and a place for the females to guard their egg sacks, e.g. species of Alopecosa, Trochosa, and Arctosa. Spiders of the Pirata genus make silk tubes in vegetation where they spend part of their time. Many other lycosids never use a retreat but are found running about in grass, leaf litter, over sandy or stony areas, across the surface of water and many other places. Wolf spiders are often very noticeable as many are active during daylight hours running about in sunshine hunting prey on the ground or in low vegetation. The females of some species attach the globular egg sack to the spinners, which is then carried about. After the juvenile spiders emerge from the egg sack they will climb up on to the mothers abdomen making it appear much larger. The spiderlings will stay well protected on the abdomen for several days or even weeks. Eventually they disperse and start a life on their own.
Characters of family: The lycosids belong to the group of araneomorph, ecribellate spider families having 8 eyes and 3 tarsal claws. The eyes are all dark in colour and arranged in three rows in a characteristic fashion. The anterior row has four small eyes set in a straight or slightly curved row, the second row has two large eyes further up on the on the vertical front, and the posterior row has two medium-sized eyes on the sides of the head which can be more or less steep sided. There are only few additional diagnostic characters of importance for the family, i.e. the lack of a retrolateral tibial apophysis on the male palp and that the female of many species carries her egg sack attached to the spinners. The carapace is longer than wide with the head region narrowed and high. It is usually densely covered with hairs and often with longitudinal median or lateral bands or both. In some genera there are characteristic bars in the median band or elongate U-, Y-shaped marks. The sternum is oval to shield shaped (scutiform). The chelicerae are relatively strong with toothed cheliceral furrow and prominent lateral condyle (boss). The labium is a wide as long, about half the length of endites. Legs are spinose and provided with 3 tarsal claws, usually with scopulae for adhesion. The second segments of the legs (trochanters) are notched. The abdomen is oval, always covered with dense hairs. There is no colulus in front of the spinners. The tracheal spiracle is situated just in front of the spinners. The epigyne is well sclerotized median septum which may be large and plate-like. The male palp is only rarely provided with a tibial apophysis. The tip of the male palp may have one or more claws.
Genus: Arctosa C. L. Koch, 1847 - Bear-spiders
Characters of genus: Medium-sized to large spiders characterized by a rather flattened carapace without clear median band, and with the eyes directed somewhat upwards. Most species lack longitudinal bands, and are well-camouflaged against the substrate. Legs with clear annulations or distinct spots. Males rather similar to females in general appearance. Depending on habitat, the species make burrows in sand, moss, detritus or under stones, but specimens are also frequently seen running about.
Arctosa cinerea (Fabricius, 1777)
Description: Large, handsome and light coloured spiders with fairly dense white pubescence. Carapace yellow-brown but appear lighter because of the pubescence. There are two light spots at each side of the eyegroup due to areas with dense clothing of white hairs. Abdomen light brown or reddish with whitish areas where pubescence is dense. Cardiac mark whitish or yellowish, followed by vague chevrons and paired white spots. Legs yellow-brown with light annulations made of dense white hairs. Male very similar to female but slightly smaller and slimmer. Size: Female 14-17 mm; male 12-14 mm. Maturity: Autumn, winter and spring. Habitat: In Denmark this species seems to be confined to sandy and stony beaches. In Europe also sandy banks of rivers and lakes. Range: Albania, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia/Herzegowina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France (Corsica), France (Mainland), Germany, Great Britain (Mainland), Greece (Crete), Greece (Cyclades), Greece (Mainland), Hungary, Ireland, Italy (Mainland), Italy (Sardinia), Italy (Sicily), Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway (Mainland), Poland, Portugal (Madeira), Portugal (Mainland), Romania, Russia (Central European), Russia (Eastern European), Russia (Northern European), Russia (NW. European), Slovakia, Slovenia?, Spain (Canary Islands), Spain (Mainland), Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, Yugoslavia (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Palearctic, Congo (Platnick 10.0).
Male.
Female.
Female.
Subadult female.
Subadult female.
Male.
Male.
Male abdominal markings.
Male.
Subadult female.
Subadult female.
Subadult female, abdominal markings.