Hogna radiata, copyright Marcello Consolo.

Belongs within: Lycosinae.

High on the Hogna
Published 5 June 2024

Because of their wandering habits, larger species of the wolf spider family Lycosidae are among the more commonly encountered large spiders in many parts of the world. Among the largest of all lycosids are some of the species assigned to the genus Hogna.

Hogna lenta, copyright Tone Killick.

As currently constituted, the genus Hogna includes over two hundred species distributed across the world. However, as with other such widespread lycosid genera, it is poorly diagnosed and lies in desperate need of revision. Core representatives are large to medium-sized lycosids with a broad pale median stripe on the cephalothorax, running from the facial area to the posterior declivity. The posterior median eyes are more widely placed than the width of the anterior eye row, and the quadrangle formed by the posterior eyes is longer than the anterior eye row. The venter of the abdomen is mostly black. In females, the longitudinal piece of the epigynum is much longer than the transverse piece, with lateral grooves running the length of the longitudinal piece (Brady 2012). Features of the male palp are generally primitive and probably not diagnostic for the genus, but include the presence of macrosetae on the cymbial apex, and a single, sickle-shaped synembolus (Logunov 2020).

Hogna antelucana, copyright Michelle.

The type species of Hogna, H. radiata, has been described as widespread across Eurasia and northern Africa. However, Brady (2012) observed that individuals of ‘H. radiata’ from northern Africa were not the same species as those from western Europe, and suggested that multiple species may prove to have been conflated under this name. Many species historically assigned to Hogna have remained more or less unrevised since their initial, rudimentary descriptions and may prove to be unidentifiable.

Hogna ingens, from Crespo et al. (2022).

Nevertheless, Hogna has been associated with a number of insular radiations that have attracted attention, on island groups such as St Helena, the Galápagos, and the Madeira Archipelago. The last of these, at least, appear to be true Hogna, closely related to the type species H. radiata (Crespo et al. 2022). Eight species of Hogna are known from the Madeira Archipelago, in habitats ranging from coastal grasslands and montane rocky scarps, to closed laurel forests. Most are restricted to individual islands, with the exception of the widespread H. insularum. Some of the larger species exhibit striking coloration. Hogna maderiana, found on the island of Porto Santo, bears legs that are bright orange or red dorsally. The largest of the Madeira wolf spiders, and one of the largest of all wolf spiders, is H. ingens from the island of Deserta Grande, which reaches a full 25 mm in length. This strikingly patterned species with legs in black and white is found only in a single valley of about one square kilometre, a valley which has been severely impacted in recent years by introduced herbivores and invasive plants. As such, H. ingens is currently regarded as critically endangered, and immediate intervention is required to save the most dramatic wolf spider of them all.

Systematics of Hogna
<==Hogna Simon 1885FL13
|--*H. radiata (Latreille 1817)LF10 [=Lycosa radiataMGK03]
|--H. alticeps (Kroneberg 1875) [=Tarentula alticeps, Lycosa alticeps]MGK03
|--H. bergsoei (Thorell 1875) [=Alopecosa bergsoei]MGK03
|--H. birabenae (Mello-Leitão 1941) [=Birabenia birabenae]C90
|--H. crispipes (Koch 1877)FL13 [incl. Geolycosa tongatabuensis (Strand 1911)PVD10]
|--H. exigua (Roewer 1960) [=Hoggicosa exigua, Lycosa exigua]LF10
|--H. frondicolaWC17
|--H. gumia (Petrunkevitch 1911)FM11
|--H. ingens (Blackwall 1857)JD-S07
|--H. kuyani Framenau, Gotch & Austin 2007LF10
|--H. lenta (Hentz 1844) [=Lycosa lenta]SB14
|--H. ocellata (Koch 1878) [=Lycosa ocellata, Arctosa ocellata]MGK03
|--H. sternalis (Bertkau 1880)FM11
`--H. yauliensis (Strand 1908) [=Tarentula yauliensis, Lynxosa yauliensis]J98

*Type species of generic name indicated


Brady, A. R. 2012. Nearctic species of the new genus Tigrosa (Araneae: Lycosidae). Journal of Arachnology 40 (2): 182–208.

[C90] Capocasale, R. M. 1990. Las especies de la subfamilia Hippasinae de America del Sur (Araneae, Lycosidae). Journal of Arachnology 18: 131–142.

Crespo, L. C., I. Silva, A. Enguídanos, P. Cardoso & M. Arnedo. 2022. Island hoppers: integrative taxonomic revision of Hogna wolf spiders (Araneae, Lycosidae) endemic to the Madeira islands with description of a new species. ZooKeys 1086: 84–135.

[FL13] Framenau, V. W., & A. E. Leung. 2013. Costacosa, a new genus of wolf spider (Araneae, Lycosidae) from coastal north-west Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 83: 173–184.

[FM11] Freire-Jr, G. de B., & P. C. Motta. 2011. Effects of experimental fire regimes on the abundance and diversity of cursorial arachnids of Brazilian savannah (cerrado biome). Journal of Arachnology 39 (2): 263–272.

[J98] Jäger, P. 1998. Das Typenmaterial der Spinnentiere (Arachnida: Acari, Amblypygi, Araneae, Opiliones, Pseudoscorpiones, Scorpiones, Uropygi) aus dem Museum Wiesbaden. Jahrbuecher des Nassauischen Vereins fuer Naturkunde 119: 81–91.

[JD-S07] Jocqué, R., & A. S. Dippenaar-Schoeman. 2007. Spider Families of the World. Royal Museum for Central Africa: Tervuren (Belgium).

[LF10] Langlands, P. R., & V. W. Framenau. 2010. Systematic revision of Hoggicosa Roewer, 1960, the Australian ‘bicolor‘ group of wolf spiders (Araneae: Lycosidae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 158: 83–123.

Logunov, D. V. 2020. On three species of Hogna Simon, 1885 (Aranei: Lycosidae) from the Near East and Central Asia. Arthropoda Selecta 29 (3): 349–360.

[MGK03] Marusik, Yu. M., E. F. Guseinov & S. Koponen. 2003. Spiders (Arachnida: Aranei) of Azerbaijan. 2. Critical survey of wolf spiders (Lycosidae) found in the country with description of three new species and brief review of Palaearctic Evippa Simon, 1885. Arthropoda Selecta 12 (1): 47–65.

[PVD10] Paquin, P., C. J. Vink & N. Dupérré. 2010. Spiders of New Zealand: annotated family key and species list. Manaaki Whenua Press: Lincoln (New Zealand).

[SB14] Suter, R. B., & K. Benson. 2014. Nocturnal, diurnal, crepuscular: activity assessments of Pisauridae and Lycosidae. Journal of Arachnology 42 (2): 178–191.

[WC17] Wheeler, W. C., J. A. Coddington, L. M. Crowley, D. Dimitrov, P. A. Goloboff, C. E. Griswold, G. Hormiga, L. Prendini, M. J. Ramírez, P. Sierwald, L. Almeida-Silva, F. Alvarez-Padilla, M. A. Arnedo, L. R. Benavides Silva, S. P. Benjamin, J. E. Bond, C. J. Grismado, E. Hasan, M. Hedin, M. A. Izquierdo, F. M. Labarque, J. Ledford, L. Lopardo, W. P. Maddison, J. A. Miller, L. N. Piacentini, N. I. Platnick, D. Polotow, D. Silva-Dávila, N. Scharff, T. Szűts, D. Ubick, C. J. Vink, H. M. Wood & J. Zhang. 2017. The spider tree of life: phylogeny of Araneae based on target-gene analyses from an extensive taxon sampling. Cladistics 33: 574–616.

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