As I mentioned at the end of yesterday’s post, I’m afraid that the second of my new images here may not appeal very much to those of you who are not among the smaller group of avid spider fans, so feel free to stop reading here if you’re anxious.
I found this big beauty, sporting a leg span of around an inch and a half, or about four centimeters, on Sunday morning (three days ago) in a very dark spot–clearly visible but nearly hidden, so that I couldn’t make out any real details. I approached very cautiously and was able to ease a glass jar over it without disturbing it at all and then slipped a piece of cardboard under it. I carried it to one of our small black oaks and released it on the smooth bark, where the light was much better and I was able to study it from several angles. It was fairly patient with my close scrutiny for a few minutes.
I spent some time on the Internet consulting one of my favorite, um, websites, spiders.us, and was able to identify it as a variety of wolf spider (family Lycosidae) of the genus Tigrosa. I sent an image to the forums at spiders.us and, within a day, one of the members responded that I’d found a Tigrosa helluo, and that I might consider sending it to another great site, bugguide.net, since they had not had a report of this one in Omaha before.
I am registered as a contributing member of both sites and have submitted these to them for their photo archives. This species, previously called Hogna, was given its new name (Tigrosa) in 2012. The family name, Lycosidae, is meant to convey “fierce like a wolf,” and Tigrosa to convey “fierce like a tiger.” Either way, I’m glad I’m not a lot smaller than I am and that I was focusing my full attention on the spider, rather than the other way around.