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Lycosa is a genus of wolf spiders distributed throughout most of the world. Often (incorrectly) called the "true tarantula", Lycosa spp. can be distinguished from common wolf spiders by their relatively large size. This genus includes the European Lycosa tarantula, which was once associated with tarantism, a dubious affliction whose symptoms included shaking, cold sweats, and a high fever, asserted to be curable only by the traditional tarantella dance. No scientific substantiation of that myth is known; the venom of Lycosa spiders is generally not harmful.

Temporal range: Palaeogene–present
Lycosa aragogi.jpg
Lycosa aragogi (female)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Infraorder: Araneomorphae
Family: Lycosidae
Genus: Lycosa
Latreille, 1804
Selected species

 200+ more

224 species

As of 2013, more than 200 species in this genus have been described.[1]

Lycosa hawaiiensis carrying young
Lycosa tarantula, illustration
Lycosa godeffroyi carrying young

Species listEdit


  1. ^ Planas, E., Fernández-Montraveta, C., & Ribera, C. (2013). Molecular systematics of the wolf spider genus Lycosa (Araneae: Lycosidae) in the Western Mediterranean Basin. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 67(2), 414-428.

External linksEdit