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“C” is for Carolina wolf spider

South Carolina became the first state to designate an official state spider when the General Assembly passed legislation in July 2000. The accepted scientific name was formerly Lycosa carolinensis, but it is now Hoga carolininensis. The Carolina wolf spider is found throughout the continental United State and is most common in the South. It is the largest American wolf spider. The male can attain nearly an inch in body length, while the female can be an inch more. Instead of catching prey in webs, wolf spiders are ground hunters that pounce on insects, kill with venomous bites, then consume their victims. Wolves are colored in mottled browns and grays that provide camouflage among leaves on the forest floor. The Carolina wolf spider is normally shy of humans.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.