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The Wolf’s Lair

Grassland Funnel Web Spider, Coorg -

Meet a very different kind of wolf. This isn’t the two-legged kind that whistles at bus-stops as curvy specimens of the opposite gender pass by. Nor does he make eyes at them, though that would be a bit of an overdose, considering he has eight eyes of varying sizes. And eight legs to beat a hasty retreat if the object of his amorous attention decides to file charges. The Grassland Funnel Web Spider of Coorg, otherwise known as the Wolf Spider, is not someone you’d like to drop in to visit, especially if you are a sensible insect. His funnel-shaped home is built entirely of dry silk without the messy stickiness of other spider webs. For all that, the unwary visitor tends to slip on its smooth surface and get fatally entangled in its intricate threads.This, however, is one spider that’s not content to sit in his funnel, patiently waiting for home delivery. There’s a reason why he is called the Wolf Spider, and that’s because he is an excellent hunter who stalks his prey and often runs it down, holding it with his legs and weaving a silken shroud around its body before administering the fatal bite. His excellent eyesight (all those eyes help, I guess) and mobility allow him to be more successful than most other strains of Arachnids whilst hunting on the grassy fields, where you’ll see a lot of this free-running ground spider. He is a lone wolf who hunts mostly by day, though some, more poetic strains of the family are known to prefer moonlit dinners. While we’re happy that you now know enough to avoid wolf whistles on the grasslands, we’d be happier if you think twice the next time you pass by any funnel-shaped inn called ‘The Silk Route’ with a welcoming ‘Open for Dinner’ signboard hung outside.



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