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Spider Photos - Fishing Spiders

Pisaurina sp.
Family Pisauridae
- Nursery Web and Fishing Spiders.

These spiders resemble the wolf spiders (Lycosidae), but have a different eye pattern. Pisaurids have their eyes arranged in 2 rows, the posterior row slightly recurved, the median eyes in the second row slightly (if any) larger than the others. (Wolf spiders have eyes arranged in 3 rows). The egg sac is carried by the female under her prosoma, held there by her chelicerae & pedipalps. Before the eggs hatch, the female attaches the sac to a plant and then builds a web around it -- and stands guard nearby. The Pisaurids forage for their food and build webs only for protecting their young. Some spiders in this family, particularly fishing spiders in the genus Dolomedes, are quite large and may have a leg spread of 75 mm or more. The Dolomedes spiders live near water; they walk on the surface of water and dive underneath it to feed on aquatic insects and even small fish.
Although nursery-web and fishing spiders are big enough to give a painful bite, they are not considered dangerous. Many people (including me), are confused by the  5 similar looking spiders - the harmless Huntsman, Wolf Spider,  Southern House Spider (Kukulcania), Fishing Spider and  Brown Recluse which of course is not harmless.  All photos are copyright to their owners and may not be reproduced without permission. Please choose a section.
Unidentified Spiders 2017 Unidentified Spiders 2016 Unidentified Spiders 2015
Unidentified Spiders 2014 Unidentified Spiders 2013 Unidentified Spiders 2012
Unidentified Spiders 2011 Unidentified Spiders 2010 Unidentified Spiders 2009 (1)
Unidentified Spiders 2009 (2) Unidentified Spiders 2008 (1) Unidentified Spiders 2008 (2)
Unidentified Spiders 2007 (1) Unidentified Spiders 2007 (2) Unidentified Spiders 2007 (3)
Unidentified Spiders 2006 (1) Unidentified Spiders 2006 (2) Unidentified Spiders 2006 (3)
Unidentified Spiders 2005 (1) Unidentified Spiders 2005 (2) Unidentified Spiders 2005 (3)
Unidentified Spiders 2004 (1) Unidentified Spiders 2004 (2) Unidentified Spiders 2003
Unidentified Spiders 2002 Unidentified Spiders 2001  
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Zoropsis spinimana

Zygiella x-notata

Fishing Spiders
(Unclassified) (1)
Fishing Spiders
(Unclassified) (2)
Fishing Spiders
(Dolomedes tenebrosus)
Fishing Spiders
(Dolomedes triton)
Giant Fishing Spiders (Ancylometes) Fishing Spiders
(Dolomedes vittatus)
White Banded Fishing Spider (Dolomedes albineus) Great Raft Spider
Raft Spiders
Dolomedes Fimbriatus

(Dolomedes Plantarius)(Dolomedes fimbriatus)

The raft spider, Dolomedes fimbriatus, is a European spider of the family Pisauridae. The raft spider is one of the two largest spiders in the United Kingdom. Like other Dolomedes spiders it hunts by running on the surface of water, and can submerge altogether to hide from predators. The female's body measures up to 22 millimetres (0.87 in) long with a leg span of about 70 mm (2.8 in); as with most spiders the male is considerably smaller. Raft spiders are semi-aquatic and live around acidic bogs and in wet acidic grassland, especially where there are small pools of water. They are dark chocolate brown in colour (or sometimes greenish) with a conspicuous white or cream stripe along each side. The closely related great raft spider (Dolomedes plantarius) is similar in size, habits and appearance, but lives in fens.

 The great raft spider or fen raft spider (Dolomedes plantarius) is a European species of spider in the Pisauridae family. Like other Dolomedes spiders, it is semi-aquatic, hunting its prey on the surface of water. It occurs mainly in neutral to alkaline, unpolluted water of fens and grazing marsh. It is a large species within its range. Adult females can have bodies of slightly over 20mm in length with a span of 70mm including their legs. It is typically black or brown in colouration with white or cream stripes along the sides of the body. It is very similar in look to the closely related raft spider Dolomedes fimbriatus with which it is often misidentified. Great raft spiders are predatory and hunt from perches at the water's edge. They primarily feed on aquatic invertebrates such as pond skaters, dragonfly larvae and smaller aquatic spiders. They will also feed on drowning terrestrial invertebrates and have been known to catch small vertebrates such as sticklebacks and tadpoles. To hunt aquatic prey they have developed a sensory system of chaetae, a covering of sensory hairs on its legs. These are used to detect the vibrations made as prey hits the surface or moves through the water. It will typically position itself with the back legs on a plant stem and the front legs on the water surface to be able to detect any prey. When prey is found the spider is able to run across the surface of the water to reach it by use of surface tension. They are also known to hunt underwater by running down the stems of plants to reach prey, this can also be used to avoid capture by predators. Water is essential to the whole life cycle of the great raft spider. The spiders will live for two and a half years. As juveniles they will hibernate over the winter and will mature into adults during their final spring. In the UK, adults will usually have two breeding attempts between July and September. The chaetae sensory system is used to help find a mate and courtship is carried out on the water. The male will slowly and carefully approach the female while tapping the water surface with its legs. When they are close they perform a slow bobbing of the body. If accepted the mating is brief and over in seconds.[4] The female will lay several hundred eggs in a silk sac, about 10mm across, which they carry under their bodies for around three weeks. During this time she will periodically dip the sac into water to prevent the eggs from drying out. She will also locate a suitable nest site amongst the emergent vegetation, this will usually be between 10 and 100 cm above the water. Shortly prior to hatching she will construct a tent-like nursery web within which she can guard the young until they disperse into the surroundings, usually five to nine days after hatching. If a second brood is attempted later in the summer these are usually smaller and less likely to be successful. Courtship and mating usually takes place early in the season and adult males will die shortly after with most dead by late July. Females will survive until the end of the summer. The great raft spider has only been identified at three sites in the UK. Due to this extreme rarity it is listed as endangered, is protected under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and was provided a Species Action Plan in 1999.  Wikipedia


RAFT SPIDERS - (Dolomedes fimbriatus)

26 June, 2016:
Hello, I hope that you can help me. I live in Eastern North Carolina and recently came across two spiders that I cannot identify. I am attaching pictures of each. One is on a plant on the edge of a small pond. There was five or more of these close together, all on different leaves. The other was on a web in the woods between a couple trees. Any help would be appreciated! Thank you, Barry

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26 June, 2012:
Raft spider  - Dolomedes fimbriatus -  juvenile, male and female with egg sac


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GREAT RAFT SPIDERS - (Dolomedes plantarius)


25 June, 2012:
Dolomedes plantarius attached - protected by law in the UK


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