...To keep a wolf spider for a pet. Yesterday, a friend of a friend was outside our office for a few moments, waiting on an employee. I went outside to retrieve something from my car, and a few of us who were in the parking lot struck up a conversation. This friend of a friend....well, he looked like real outdoorsy guy, and somehow, we got into the topic of how great camping is in the autumn. This gentleman said he had just been camping in southern Missouri and Arkansas and that he had brought back a "souvenir." I had no idea what he was going to pull out of his car, but I must admit I squealed a little as he quickly shoved a plexiglass and wood box toward me - which was holding a huge, hairy spider (which he called a wolf spider.) I didn't squeal so much because I am afraid of spiders (because I'm not)....but I just didn't have any warning to expect a huge, hairy spider to be coming toward my face. In a box or not, the sight of a wolf spider can be quite shocking! Sadly, I did not have a camera with me to take a picture of the spider, box case, or the friend of a friend.
I have seen a wolf spider only once before, and yesterday's wolf spider looked exactly like one I saw in Arkansas. My friend, Josh, introduced me to these creatures last summer when Asa, Alisha, Josh and I went fishing. Here's a picture of the spider on Josh's arm.
Crazy, huh? (Coincidentally, today is Josh's birthday. Happy Birthday!)
I have no idea of what the expected longevity is for a wolf spider in a plexiglass case with air holes. But, I am hoping he will be released back into nature sometime soon. I'm not a spider lover, but I must admit I am fascinated by their webs and some of their tendencies.
Disclaimer for all entomologists and arachnologists, in particular: If the picture above is not a true wolf spider, I apologize. I have no idea. I am just taking others' word for it. But, to me, besides being a little more hairy, they look pretty close to official pictures of wolf spiders that I've seen....yet not enough alike to know for sure. In the midst of typing this entry, I decided to seek out some professional help (on spiders, that is), and I contacted a spider expert at Monmouth College to receive the official word. I'll try to post an answer when I receive one.