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Meet the Lava Wolf Spider

May 2, 2013

Did You Know? One of the first creatures to colonize new lava flows in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park is a species of endemic wolf spider (Lycosa), arriving even before the first plants get established. Some of these pioneering invertebrates are known to settle just a month after new flows cool. Park Ranger Jay Robinson photographed this handsome spider at Mauna Ulu. Note the large eyes, “all the better to see you with, my dear.” According to USGS entomologists, one of the  most noteworthy characteristics of these surface dwellers is the way females cart around their young, covering their bodies.  Both males and females are visual-hunting predators and feed on crickets and other soil and litter arthropods.

endemic wolf spider

My, what big eyes you have! NPS Photo/Jay Robinson

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