The Kauai Cave wolf spider (Adelocosa anops), also known as pe’e pe’e maka ‘ole in Hawaiian (from Earth’s Endangered Creatures) is found in only three caves on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. Like other wolf spiders, the Kauai Cave wolf spider doesn’t build a web to capture prey; it relies on speed and chases down its prey. Like all other spiders, it is venomous; it has three teeth for biting it’s prey. What’s really amazing about this hunting style is the fact that these spiders don’t have eyes (from Animal Aqua)! According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Species Action Plan, the main threats to the spider are alteration of the caves and surrounding vegetation, non-native predators, and pesticide run-off.
So really, who cares? It’s just one little spider in a few caves in Hawaii. The answer is: when we protect these little spiders, we help ourselves. If pesticides from agriculture are bringing these spiders near extinction, there’s a pretty good chance those pesticides in water run-off are also affecting human populations. It’s in our best interest to clean up the water – the spiders win and humans win!