Wolf Spider vs Hobo Spider

There are a lot of spiders in the world. They all have their own peculiarities and mannerisms, and it’s difficult for the typical property owner to keep track of them all. 

People often fail to differentiate between a wolf spider and a hobo spider. When looking at both of them, it’s easy to understand how they could be mistaken. Because their size and coloration might fluctuate, appropriate identification may necessitate more examination.

While there are some similarities between them, there also exist some differences. To know more, read ahead!

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Both varieties of spiders are hairy and brown in appearance, with a striped pattern running down their dorsal side. The hairs on the hobo spider are very small, and without magnification, they are impossible to notice. The wolf spider is larger, especially when its legs are included.


Both spiders have eight eyes, albeit they are arranged differently. Without magnification, this feature may be difficult to notice.


Hobo spiders are found primarily in the Pacific Northwest of the United States (though their range appears to be expanding), but the wolf spider is found throughout the United States and Canada.

The true distinctions between these two spiders, however, can be found in their activities and habitats.

Habitat of the Hobo Spider

Hobo spiders build funnel-shaped nests with the narrower end funneling into a sheltered spot, such as a crevice, to begin with. These nests are frequently found near the ground in places like woodpiles, gardens, beneath rocks or sheds, or under thick foliage. 

Hobo spiders are commonly found in wet environments like basements, and because they are poor climbers, they are normally spotted at ground level. When movement is sensed, they utilize their webs to catch prey and dart out from the funnel end to grasp it.

Habitat of the Wolf Spider

Wolf spiders, on the other hand, do not build webs or nests. Rather, they will build a shallow tunnel in the earth to protect themselves, occasionally under a rock, log, or other objects. The only silk in their nest that may be visible is to cover the aperture, however, the spiders do not always do so. 

The wolf spider, unlike the hobo, hunts for its prey and goes out in search of it. The wolf spider can be found in grassy regions, under rocks, on decks, and under leaves, among other places. When prey passes by, some wolf spiders will ambush it, while others will chase and attack it.

Wolf spiders can be found indoors as well as on the ground, where they prey. Both animals move quickly.

Reproductive Habits

The reproductive habits of these spiders also differ. Female wolf spiders carry the egg sac, which they connect to their spinnerets, while female hobo spiders deposit eggs in sacs that they attach to the web and then stand guard over. 

Young wolf spiders will climb onto their mother’s back when they hatch, whereas hobo spiderlings will not.

Damage Caused By Them

Humans are thought to be harmed by the bite of the hobo spider, which can cause necrotic wounds similar to those caused by a brown recluse. Unless a person has an allergic reaction, wolf spider bites are not hazardous and are about the same as a bee sting.

Some morphological traits, such as markings and coloration, can be used to identify one species from another and can be determined by close observation or magnification.

How to Identify a Hobo Spider?

  1. Unlike most spiders, hobo spiders do not have darker color bands on their leg joints. It is not a Hobo Spider if the back and legs are a dark, nearly orange color, and slightly glossy.
  1. The length of a hobo spider’s body is around ¼ to ½ inch long whereas its leg span is between 1-2 inches.
  1. Most spiders have round markings on their sternum, whereas a hobo spider does not if you turn it around and look at it. 
  1. It has a brownish body and may have yellow markings on its abdomen.
  1. Hobo spiders have two palpi near their jaws that resemble boxing gloves. However, to observe this feature, you might need to use a microscope or magnifying glass. 

How to Identify a Wolf Spider?

  1. They have large, light-reflecting eyes. Their eyes are arranged in three rows. The first has four tiny eyes, the second has two large eyes whereas the third row consists of two medium-sized eyes. 
  1. They range in length from 1/2 inch to 2 inches. 
  1. Wolf spiders have brown to dark gray patterns on their bodies. 
  1. They also have three tarsal claws at the end of their legs. 
  1. Because of its size and color, the wolf spider is sometimes mistaken for a brown recluse spider.


Knowing the differences between both spiders is very crucial as different types of spiders require different preventive measures based on their characteristics.

We hope you learned the similarities as well as differences between both types of spiders through this article. 

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I'm Daniel White, and I live in Jacksonville, Florida. The warm and humid climate of Florida gives an ideal habitat for many different kinds of pests. So, if I had to live in Florida, I had to learn how to deal with these pests. Now, I have 7 years of experience in Pest Control.

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