Kauai wolf spiders are also called Kauai cave wolf spiders, and some refer to them as “blind wolf spiders” because of the unusual fact that they have no eyes. They rely on their sense of smell to locate and attack prey.
These spiders are only found on Hawaii's island of Kauai and dwell in caves and lava tubes there. They are located within a rather small geographic area, where they remain within a few cave systems. The Kauai wolf spider is currently on the endangered species list and faces threats of habitat destruction from development as well as population reduction from pesticides and predators.
The Kauai wolf spider does not build webs, but hunts for its prey, which consists of Kauai cave amphipods. These are a type of small crustacean, which is also endangered.
The health of the land above the caves is critical to the spiders' and amphipods' survival. For instance, if plants thrive on the land above, their roots will extend into the caves and provide a source of food for the amphipods, which in turn, provide food for the spiders. In addition, the roots help increase the humidity level in the caves, which Kauai wolf spiders need.
These spiders measure about 1/2″ to 3/4″ in size and appear brown or reddish brown in color, sometimes with a beige-colored abdomen or lighter striping on the dorsal side. These spiders also appear hairy.
The female Kauai wolf spider will lay up to 30 eggs at once in a silken egg sac. She will actually carry the sac in her mouth until the spiderlings hatch. Once they do so, they will climb onto her back and stay there until they reach maturity and can take care of themselves.
The Kauai wolf spider does not pose a threat to humans and, due to its relatively isolated home, probably encounters people on very rare occasions.