Most spider species are not known for their rapid movements. Most tarantulas, for instance, are relatively slow crawlers, despite the fact that tarantulas are one of the largest spider groups in terms of body size. Most spider species have not evolved to move quickly since many are ambush predators or species that simply wait until an insect prey becomes stuck within a silk web. And since very few animals prey on spiders, most spider species have no need to rapidly flee from threats. Of course, the world is full of a diverse abundance of spider species, as 35,000 have been documented around the world, so some species are bound to have evolved the ability to travel at a rapid pace. Spiders that hunt for prey, like wolf spiders, often move rapidly in order to catch their meals. In fact, there are a few fast-moving wolf spider species that are commonly found in Massachusetts homes.

Wolf spiders do not spin webs or rely on ambush-style methods to capture prey; instead, many species run rapidly in pursuit of prey, or in an effort to escape the humans they often encounter indoors. Perhaps the fastest wolf spiders that often wonder into Massachusetts homes are the species belonging to the Tigrosa genus. When these large spiders are not encountered indoors they are often spotted crawling at a rapid speed across pavement. Although these spiders tend to run from humans, they will not hesitate to bite when agitated. These bites are painful and the wounds they inflict can take weeks to heal. One particularly wolf spider species known as Hogna aspersa, explores homes regularly where they often spend the winter months. These spiders are fast by virtue of their long legs and overall large body size, which can make them frightening to residents who encounter them indoors. These spiders also possess large fangs that cause serious pain when puncturing human skin, and while they may not be aggressive, they should never be handled without proper protection.

Have you ever spotted a spider specimen in your home that possessed a hairy body?