Wolf spiders are often seen in large numbers and it was once thought that they hunted in packs - which is why they are named after the predatory wolf.
Female wolf spiders are 5.5-8mm and males are 5-6.5mm. They are mottled brown.
They are widespread and common throughout Britain. This species is found across Europe and related species are found worldwide.
Wolf spiders live on the ground in open areas. On sunny days, they can be seen in large numbers in open patches of woodland.
They hunt small insects and sometimes other smaller wolf spiders.
They actively hunt during the day.
When a male finds a female he will perform a courtship dance involving waving his front legs about and vibrating his abdomen. Often the female will respond by attacking him but the male persists. If he is lucky he will be allowed to climb onto the female and mate with her.
After the female has constructed an egg sac she will attach it to her spinnerets at the tip of her abdomen and carry it around with her. Because the egg sac is not carried in her jaws she is free to continue hunting.
When the spiderlings have hatched they will climb onto the female's back. She will discard the remains of the egg sac and continue hunting while carrying her babies. The spiderlings remain with their mother for about a week.
Wolf spiders are not protected by law in the UK.
They can occasionally be seen walking across the surface of water, either to escape a predator or to capture an insect that has fallen in.