My yard is full of holes.  Some are the diameter of a pencil, others large enough to accommodate the end of my index finger.   I’d noticed a few of them before, without really paying them any attention.  Then this evening, when I let the dogs out and was waiting for them to do their business, I was looking around the yard and realized just how many of the burrows there are.  Being the curious fella that I am, I decided to dig up a few of them to see what lurked within.

Turns out that digging one up was harder than you might imagine.  They weren’t very deep, a few inches at most, but the ground was hard and it was very easy lose the tunnel with the loose dirt falling into the opening.  In fact, that’s what happened to all three of the pencil-sized burrows I tried digging.  My luck was running about the same on the larger burrows until the third one.  I had visions of finding maybe a tiger beetle larvae or possibly the cache of a parasitic wasp, but I was wrong on both counts.  Instead, I found myself looking at this:

Here’s a wider view of the same photo:

And one last view:

Ok, it’s a spider, but what kind?  Spiders are something that I haven’t spent much time studying, so it was off to the internet to do some research.  A Google search on “burrowing spider” and a look through Bug Guide makes me think it’s probably a wolf spider, possibly of the genus Hogna, but that’s a very tentative ID.  I’ve submitted an ID request at Bug Guide and if I get a hit, I’ll update this page with the info.  In the meantime, some advice:  don’t stick your fingers in the holes in your yard.  There’s no telling what might be waiting for you.  Winking smile

Update: The folks at Bug Guide came through.  It’s a Hogna carolinensis, the Carolina Wolf Spider.


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