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Long Lost Carolina Wolf Spider Found in Ohio

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Aug 19, 2014 02:54 PM EDT
Carolina wolf spider
If you have arachnophobia, you may want to shield your eyes. The long lost Carolina wolf spider, which hasn't been seen for more than half a century, was just found recently in Ohio. (Photo : Twitter)

If you have arachnophobia, you may want to shield your eyes. The long lost Carolina wolf spider, which hasn't been seen for more than half a century, was just found recently in Ohio.

It's been 60 years since this orange-fanged, gray-furred spider reared its ugly head. But this past weekend, a group of naturalists poking around the Edge of Appalachia preserve at the southern tip of Ohio peered into a burrow, and there it was.

Jim McCormac, one of the naturalists who found the spider's burrow, said the group immediately realized what they stumbled upon.

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"It's the holy grail of arachnids," McCormac, who works for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, told The Columbus Dispatch.

And though the Carolina wolf spider (Hogna carolinensis) is the largest spider in the United States, naturalists insist the 3- to 4-inch spider is nothing to fear.

"He wasn't aggressive at all," McCormac told The Dispatch.

Wolf spiders are big, hairy and typically found in the South. The Carolina wolf spider, for example, is South Carolina's state arachnid.

According to Fox19, wolf spiders look very similar to brown recluses - whose poisonous venom can cause skin to rot within 12 to 24 hours and be fatal in extreme cases, National Geographic reports - and are often killed because they resemble these dangerous arachnids.

However, Carolina wolf spiders are not poisonous, though they do carry venom in its fangs to paralyze the insects it eats.

Wolf spiders hunt alone and earned their name from the fact that they run down their prey instead of trapping it in a web. They especially have good eyesight at night, which isn't hard to believe considering they have eight eyes, lined up in three rows.

"If you don't like spiders, this thing is a real horror story," John Howard, an Adams County resident, told The Dispatch. "But if you think they're cool, this is really cool."

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