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Michigan Environment

Field Guide: Mystery holes

Cheryl Bartz

As the weather gets colder, vegetation dies back and reveals holes in the ground.  Big or tiny, you might wonder what made the hole?


Cheryl Bartz, a producer for Red Pine Radio, recently staked out a new hole that appeared in her garden.  It was perfectly round and about a half inch in diameter.  The rim of the hole appeared to be reinforced with grass and wood fibers. The resident of the hole was elusive, but eventually she snagged a photo of a wolf spider. 


Are you finding “mystery holes” in your backyard?  Email us a picture and we’ll try to help you identify what dug that burrow. The address is pointsnorth@interlochen.org.


Credit Cheryl Bartz
Wolf spiders excavate burrows to protect themselves and their eggs. This is the spider described in the audio. They’re fast-moving and hard to capture with a cell phone camera. Enlarge photo to find the spider.