Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Spider Identification

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Question
Spider Identification-Fresno-CA
Spider Identification-  
I appreciate any answers you can give.  I live in Fresno, CA. We have 2/3 of an acre, with lots of trees and a creek that runs behind our house.  I have found one black-widow in our house before.  However, the spider in the image I have attached was found in my garage today.  My little brother has made my garage a semi-apartment for himself.  This spider was walking across his carpet this morning.  In the image is a 50 cent piece laying next to the spider.

If you could identify it.  I understand that from an image it is hard to identify, especially coloring.  In spite of that, I hope you will be able to tell me some information about it.  For example, that was a very old spider, and that is rare to have them that large, lol.  Unlike yourself, an entomologist, with an obviously love of spiders, I cannot say the same for myself! :)

I am just concerned that there may be more hiding, and would like a heads-up, so to speak, about expecting this big guy's relatives to come out and play.

Answer
Michelle:

This is a wolf spider.  They are very common and are active hunters at night.  They frequently find themselves indoors by accident.

Wolf spiders are not considered a dangerous spider like a black widow, but these spiders will bite defensively.  They would rather run away.

Fully grown wolf spiders can grow (legs and all) to the size of an average human's palm or just a little larger.

For more information, do a search for wolf spider.

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Nathan Riggs

Expertise

I currently live in San Antonio, TX and have expertise in identifying insects, many types of spiders, and other arthropod critters that infest lawns, ornamentals, structures, trees, pets and livestock. Mites are not a strong point of mine. I'm not a licensed doctor, so I cannot provide medical diagnosis of conditions possibly related to insects or other arthropods. If you've got an interesting photo for me to see, attach it to your question, or let me know and I'll give you my email so the picture will get to me. If you have hosted an insect photo on a website, please include the link so I can go look at it and provide a faster ID for you. You may also join my group page on Facebook and post your picture at www.facebook.com/groups/antmans.hill/.

Experience

22+ years' experience as an entomologist: 5 years as a biologist with Merck Animal Health (I was part of the R&D team that worked to develop FrontLine flea and tick products) and 7 years as an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Specialist in San Antonio, Texas with Texas Cooperative Extension.

Publications
Veterinary Parasitology, Southwestern Entomologist, San Antonio Express News, San Antonio Gardener Newsletter, Master Gardener SCION Newsletter, GardenStyleSA e-Newsletter

Education/Credentials
BS - Entomology from Texas A&M University in 1992.

Board Certified Entomologist, 1996-2000 - Medical and Veterinary Entomology Specialty (Entomological Society of America)

Awards and Honors
2000 Texas A&M University Vice Chancellor's Award in Excellence for leadership on the Texas Fire Ant Program Educational Team.

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