A pleasantly warm sun filters through the forest canopy on a mid-January afternoon. Clumps of dried, dusty leaf litter remains a faint memory of last year’s high water line a meter or so above the brook as it adheres precariously to saplings and twigs waiting to be dislodged by breeze or beast. Reed stems bowed by the flood waters make an excellent perch on which a lone female wolf spider can survey the stream. On her back a brood of tiny young cling securely in such a tight mass they completely obscure her abdomen. She will carry them like this for a week or so before they eventually leave her.
Not to be confused with a Nursery Web spiders who’s eyes are approximately the same size, Wolf spiders have two large forward facing eyes above a row of four small ones with two medium size eyes further back. This affords them excellent eyesight for hunting. With lightning speed she darts across the water as though it were a solid surface to the safety and cover of nearby grasses. Perhaps these eyes sensed she and her brood were dangerously exposed.
A female wolf spider carrying her brood on her back in Chaloem Phrakiat Thai Prachan National Park. Below is a closer look at the brood