I glanced out the window and saw a big dark shape on the outside. A shape with lots of legs. On trotting outside to have a look, I saw a huge brown spider in the corner of the window. This spider showed no fear of me and no inclination to go scurrying off to hide. Beside the spider was a large white egg sac firmly attached to the glass. Brown spider seemed to be standing guard.
Since I know little about spiders, I ran to look up what could be so big and so fearless. It turns out that my spider was a wolf spider. And, scary as she looked, the info said she was quite harmless, though she could bite handily if threatened. She is called a wolf spider because wolf spiders don’t catch their prey in webs. They run it down just like a hunting wolf.
However, it also said that wolf spiders attach their egg sac to themselves and tote it underneath their abdomen until the eggs hatch. Then, ever maternal, they carry their babies around on their back for weeks until they are big enough to fend for themselves.
So, I don’t think she was protecting that egg sac on the window. I think she might have been chowing down on the contents. Visible around her were a number of tiny spiders, probably her young, and perhaps she had arranged a holiday picnic.
She hung about all day, only seeking the shadows when the late, hot afternoon sun struck the glass. She had no web to go home to as wolf spiders do not spin webs. Ever solitary, they hunt alone, using all of their keen eight eyes, two of them very large, to spot the insects she loves to eat. When living around houses and barns, she helps take care of annoying insect populations.
My spider has about 200 assorted cousins on the continent. Some wander continually, some keep to their territory, some live in burrows, some climb trees, some actively hunt, some just wait to pounce when an unwary bug strolls by. They all rely on their excellent camouflage to keep out of sight.
Of course life is not all nocturnal partying and juicy beetles for my wolf spider. For all her size, shelow on the food chain and provides a tasty snack for birds, lizards and hungry rodents. My wolf spider was gone the next day. Hope she is happily hunting and not a part of someone else’s dinner.