Thin-legged Wolf Spider

Pardosa spp.

Pardosa spider carrying egg sac photo © by Mike Plagens

This spider can be identified as a female by virtue of the egg sac she is carrying behind. Observed at Mesquite Wash, Mazatzal Mountains, Maricopa County, Arizona, USA. May 2008.

Lycosidae -- Wolf Spider Family

Thin-legged wolf spiders are very common near riparian streams and near irrigated farmland and urban yards in the Sonoran Desert. They hunt more by day than their larger cousins, Hogna. Their running legs make them swift in escape and quick to pounce on prey. Their large eyes and ultrasensative vibration detectors (trichobothria) give them advance warning of approaching danger. In the name caption at left ‘spp.’ stands for species plural, i.e. there are a number of species of Pardosa wolf spiders that could be found in the Sonoran Desert, but identification to exact species requires a microscope and a considerable degree of expertise.

The sac of eggs held by spinnerets at the tip of the abdomen are enclosed in a thin blanket of silk. Within, the eggs hatch into tiny spiderlings which molt yet again before emerging from the sac as baby spiders. The mother will carry them about upon her dorsum for some days before they venture off to hunt on their own.

Pardosa spider from Maricopa Co., Arizona, photo © by Mike Plagens

Mesquite Wash, 4 Aug. 2013,

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 29 Aug. 2008,
updated 2 Aug. 2014