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Alopecosa (Genus)
The Alopecosa, (synonym Tarentula), in the class of arachnids (Arachnida), the order of spiders (Araneae, Araneomorphae), the suborder Arachnida, the infraorder Araneomorphi (series: Entelegynae), and in the superfamily Lycosoidea are a genus in the family wolf spiders (Lycosidae), in which they belong to the subfamily Lycosinae.

The genus Alopecosa includes approximately 140 species worldwide, 50 of which occur in Europe. In Central Europe the following types are common:

Alopecosa accentuata, Alopecosa aculeata, Alopecosa albostriata, Alopecosa alpicola, Alopecosa auripilosa, Alopecosa barbipes, Alopecosa cinnameopilosa, Alopecosa cuneata, Alopecosa cursor, Alopecosa curtohirta, Alopecosa fabrilis, Alopecosa hamata, Alopecosa hingganica, Alopecosa hokkaidensis, Alopecosa huabanna, Alopecosa inquilina, Alopecosa kalavrita, Alopecosa kochi, Alopecosa licentie, Alopecosa mariae, Alopecosa moriutii, Alopecosa ovalis, Alopecosa pictilis, Alopecosa pinetorum, Alopecosa psammophila, Alopecosa pulverulenta, Alopecosa schmidti, Alopecosa sibirica, Alopecosa solitaria, Alopecosa striatipes, Alopecosa sulzeri, Alopecosa taeniata, Alopecosa thaleri, Alopecosa trabalis and Alopecosa xilinensis.

As a result of the destruction of their habitats, many of these species have become rare, and in Germany are on the Red List (list of endangered species).

In Germany and the adjacent areas the Alopecosa species belong to the big wolf spiders. Their stocky, strong bodies are 10-20 mm in length. Their front body, whose upper side usually emerges a bright wide longitudinal band clearly falls off the side slowly and in the front area appears wider than the eyes’ area.

There is almost always a dark spear-shaped patch on the abdomen, which is often laterally indented. Identifying individual Alopecosa species is difficult, often impossible without observation of genital features. The Alopecosa species can be divided into three groups according to colouration and markings. The first group includes the larger species; the underside of the abdomen is black, and the upper side bears a patch which resembles a jagged spear. The abdomen of the members of the second group is light coloured on the underside and the upper side has a patch with smooth edges. Amongst the species of the third group, the underside of the abdomen is light in colour and the patch on the upperside has jagged edges.

Alopecosa prefer open, warm, dry habitats such as dunes, sandy heathland and dry grassland. The fertilized females dig caves in which they store their egg sacs. Afterwards they remain in the cave and guard the eggs until the spiderlings hatch.

Dutch namesPanterspinnen
Finnish namesLeijonahämähäkit
AuthorSimon, 1885

Europe (North Europe, West Europe, South Europe, Central Europe, Southeast Europe, East Europe), Asia (West Asia, Central Asia, Far East, South Asia, North Asia), Russia (Siberia), Caucasus (Azerbaijan, Georgia)
North Africa (Macaronesia, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia), Central Africa (Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Congo), Southern Africa (Botswana)
North America (Canada, USA, Greenland), South America (Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Ecuador, Falkland Islands)
Australasia (Australia), Polynesia (Hawaii), Micronesia (Gilbert Islands)

Ecozones: Palaearctic, Holarctic

World Oceans:

Atlantic Ocean
Mediterranean Sea


Quaternary (Holocene)

CountriesAfghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, USA, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Venezuela, Yemen
Links and ReferencesAlopecosa in
Alopecosa in
Alopecosa in
Alopecosa in
Alopecosa in Wikipedia (English)

Quick search: Species - Abdomen - Patch - Side - Underside - Spiders
Group - Spear - Front - Habitats - Genus - Wolf - Dry - Area
True Spiders
Wolf spiders
AuthorSimon, 1885
Jollecosa (Roewer, 1960)
Solicosa (Roewer, 1960)
Tarentula (Sundevall, 1832)

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