(COLUMBUS)- It's the largest wolf spider in North America and hasn't been seen in Ohio in 61 years, but the Carolina Wolf Spider is back.
A group of naturalists was walking through a nature preserve in Adams County when they noticed a large burrow. Armed with a camera-scope they took a look inside.
"We figured one was in there when we found it and we threaded that down in there and voila there was the big spider glaring at our camera under the ground," said Jim McCormac, a naturalist with the Ohio Division of Wildlife.
The spider they found was a male and likely wasn't fully matured.
"A good size female will entirely fill your palm counting the leg-span," said McCormac.
If you hate spiders, don't worry. McCormac says these spiders stay underground during the day and hunt at night and are likely confined to the preserve in Adams County.
"It is very cool that conservation efforts in Adams County have protected habitat for this species that we didn't even know was protected there until Saturday," McCormac said.
The spiders are common in the southern United States. A 1924 book written about spiders in Ohio described them as the most common burrowing spider in Ohio, but that's obviously no longer the case. McCormac suspects there are more in the Adams County area, but he says the group didn't have time to stick around to look for them.
(Photo courtesy Jim McCormac)