Adelocosa anops

Kauai Cave Wolf Or Pe'e Pe'e Maka 'ole Spider

FWS Focus


The Kauai cave wolf spider (Adelocosa anops) is an obligate cavedwelling arthropod restricted to the Hawaiian island of Kauai. It has only been found in the Koloa Basin of the island of Kauai where lava tubes and other cave bearing rock are present. Spiders in this family are characterized by a distinct eye pattern, including two particularly large eyes in the middle row. The most conspicuously diagnostic character of the Kauai cave spider is its complete lack of eyes. This character is unique among wolf spiders and its distinction justifies the recognition of a separate genus for this taxon. A few species of wolf spider have reduced eyes, including another cave-adapted species on the island of Hawaii, but only in the Kauai cave wolf spider are the eyes entirely absent. Adults of the Kauai cave wolf spider are about 12.7 to 19.0 millimeters (0.5 to 0.75 inches) in total length with a reddish-brown carapace, pale abdomen and bright orange legs. The hind margin of each chelicera (biting jaw) bears three large teeth, two situated basally, and third at the distal end of the chelicera. The tibiae of the two anterior pairs of legs have four pairs of ventral spines, and tarsi (ultimate segments) and metatarsi (penultimate segments) of all legs bear unusually long and silky trichobothria (sensory hairs). The Kauai cave wolf spider is a predator, and although blind, can detect the presence of potential food items and actively stalks its prey (Howarth 1983a). Although predation has not been observed in the field, the spider probably feeds primarily on the Kauai cave amphipod, and to a lesser extent on alien species of arthropods that periodically enter the cave system.

Scientific Name

Adelocosa anops
Common Name
Kauai cave wolf or pe'e pe'e maka 'ole spider
FWS Category

Location in Taxonomic Tree

Identification Numbers




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