This is a fascinating creature that sometimes I’ve been lucky enough to find in my own backyard, as well as when on hikes along the Ohio & Erie Canal towpath.
It is similar to a Wolf Spider in appearance and has usually has brown and black stripes running the length of its body.
Four species of Nursery Web spiders in occur in North America north of Mexico. They are streamlined, with long legs and slender bodies, which help them blend in with plant stalks.
The Nursery Web Spider is an active hunter and does not spin a web to catch food, instead it employs a quick sprint to capture flies and other insects.
The female carries her large, round egg-sac in her fangs. When the young are about to hatch, she builds a silk sheet among the vegetation to act as a tent.
This “tent” shelters the offspring until they are old enough to leave on their own. This spider only uses its silk for purposes of creating a protective tent for its young.
Their habitat is grasslands, woodland borders, fencerows, roadsides, parks and gardens. They are closely related to Fishing Spiders and can run across the water’s surface if necessary.