Many people confuse the wolf spider vs hobo spider, but they are two different species. You will see differences between the wolf spider and the hobo spider in their physical appearance (albeit minor), habitat, habits, and web-making habits.
Notably, wolf spiders do not create webs, while hobo spiders create funnel-shaped webs to hunt their prey. Wolf spiders, on the other hand, resort to ambushing their prey, as they will catch it by hiding in the deep burrows they create.
There are also other differences between the two, but also many similarities that you can see. Because of these similarities, many people confuse the wolf spider with the hobo spider, so it helps to know the difference between the two before deciding what to do with your spider.
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IMPORTANT Note: This general knowledge is provided purely for amusement. If you’ve been bitten, you should get immediate medical help. Always consult experts to determine and handle your pest control needs.
Wolf Spider vs Hobo Spider
Characteristicwolf spider hobo spider
- Gender Lycosidae. Eratigena agrestis.
- Color Yellow-brown to gray. Variety of browns.
- Body size (not including legs) 10-35mm 7-14mm.
- Abdomen black stripes Light or indistinguishable stripes. light chevrons.
- Habitat Throughout North America. Pacific Northwest and Great Basin. Also Europe and Central Asia.
- Diet Little insects. Little insects.
- Types of websites No web. Web funnel.
- Poison Weak. Weak to moderate.
Here’s why a lot of people mistakenly think that the wolf spider is the hobo spider.
If you look at the colors of the two animals, you will see that their colors are quite similar. Both are yellowish-brown in color and all spiders vary in color, making color a difficult metric to classify a spider. However, at first glance, you may not see so many differences.
The two spiders also resemble one another in terms of shape. They both have long legs, although the hobo spider’s legs are slightly longer. They also have similar proportions when it comes to the cephalothorax and head, making them especially hard to tell apart.
Both spiders have hairs on their bodies, although these hairs can be too difficult to detect because they are so small. They are even smaller than hobo spiders, although wolf spiders also have hairs all over their bodies, making this feature similar to hobo spiders.
- Both are fast
One of the things you can instantly notice is your scrolling speed. Wolf spiders are naturally fast, which is why they have also earned this name: the wolf spider.
And they must also be fast. This is the only way they will be able to catch their prey if it escapes, though it is mostly based on ambushes. Despite that, wolf spiders may occasionally have to catch something, so they are naturally quite fast, allowing them to catch their prey.
Hobo spiders are also quite fast, not because they have to be, but because they can’t see well. This means that they will sometimes wander due to their poor eyesight, which makes them appear even faster than usual. Interestingly, wolf spiders have excellent eyesight, unlike most other spiders. However, they are colorblind!
Take a look at these differences between wolf and hobo spiders to see which species of spider you’re dealing with.
- The pattern on the body
If you take a closer look at both spiders, you will see that there is a slight difference in their appearance; to be more precise, you will see that there is a difference in the patterns that they have on their bodies.
A wolf spider will have light black stripes on its back and will usually also carry its young babies if it has them. This will usually happen right after the eggs hatch, which is when the babies will be most vulnerable.
Wolf spiders generally have easily visible black stripes on their backs, while hobo spiders have more diffuse patterns along with chevron shapes up and down the abdomen.
- Cobweb weaving
The main difference between the two in terms of their behavior is their ability to network. Wolf spiders don’t rely on their webs to catch their prey; in fact, they don’t even create webs, because they hide in their burrows to ambush their prey.
Hobo spiders, on the other hand, create funnel-shaped webs that are used both to ensnare their prey and to protect themselves and their offspring against possible attacks by other animals. These funnel-shaped nests will be created near wooden logs or other objects that they can use for support and offer them a bit more cover.
Wolf spiders are found throughout North America. There are only hobo spiders in the Pacific Northwest.
Hobo spiders like to live in funnel-shaped webs where they will protect themselves and catch other animals to feed on. After another animal has been caught within its web, the hobo spider will apply venom and sting the prey, which will either paralyze it or kill it entirely.
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On the other hand, wolf spiders do not create webs at all. Instead, they will create underground caverns where they may hide, spending the majority of their time there. Inside, they will also wait for their prey to come and ambush it once the opportunity presents itself.
Wolf spiders will also occasionally spend their time inside other holes around their habitat, which is where they will hide and stay until they catch their prey.
- Hobo spiders have longer legs.
This is only a small difference, but if you examine it closely, you will see that hobo spiders have slightly longer legs than the wolf spider.
This also means that hobo spiders will be slightly larger overall than the wolf spider, even though the wolf spider’s abdomen may be larger. The hobo spider can reach up to 2 inches in size including its legs, while the wolf spider will only reach about 1.5 inches in size including its legs.
What is more poisonous?
One of the main questions is: which species of spider is more poisonous: the hobo spider or the wolf spider?
It turns out that the hobo spider has a more potent venom than the wolf spider.
Hobo spiders are somewhat more venomous than wolf spiders, but there have been no reports of hobo spider deaths in recent records (they are less venomous, for example than black widow spiders and brown recluse spiders).
The most serious reports and cases of hobo spider bites report necrosis, which is a rare but serious problem that sometimes occurs after a bite. It entails the localized demise of the bite-area cells.
Wolf spider bites do not cause significant problems or damage, making them less of a concern than a hobo spider bite. At most, the wolf spider bite will cause local pain and swelling, and potentially redness or irritation of the skin.
However, both spiders rarely attack humans. They are both afraid of humans and will hide if they see a human because they see us as a threat. Sometimes there may be an unfortunate occasion where a human inadvertently touches one of these spiders, which is when the spider will bite.
To conclude, there are many similarities between the wolf spider and the hobo spider, leading many people to believe that they are the same species. There are, however, some significant distinctions between the two as well.
One of the main differences is their character and habits. Wolf spiders don’t tend to create webs, while hobo spiders thrive when safely ensconced within their funnel-shaped webs.