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  • Fishing Spider - (Dolomedes spp.)

    Fishing Spider - (Dolomedes spp.)

    The Fishing Spider is commonly found near bodies of water and, as any fisherman could tell you, it can grow to be 'this big'.

    Staff Writer (8/22/2017): Fishing Spiders are large and look menacing. Their legspan can stretch more than 75mm (3 inches), making it possible to say they can be bigger than the palm of an adult's hand. Like nearly every spider in North America, it can bite and deliver venom, but its venom is not considered dangerous unless you happen to be specifically allergic to it. They are best admired, not bothered.

    As members of the Nursery-Web family, females will lay their eggs on a silken mat and wrap them up into a small ball. She will then carry the egg sac in her jaws as she looks for a good place for them to hatch. She will build a web and attach her egg sac to it, then stand guard until the spiderlings emerge. Hundreds of spiderlings can hatch and they eventually disperse from the nursery on their own silken threads.

    Fishing Spiders get their name from their hunting behavior and occasional food source. They are adept at ambushing insects and other food items on land, but they are also able to submerge their bodies just under the surface of calm water and hunt for small fish and tadpoles. The bristly hairs on their body trap air bubbles that they use to breathe while underwater, waiting for something to swim by. They have been known to stay submerged for more than 30 minutes at a time when hunting in water. They are also able to eat insects skimming or treading on the water's surface above them.

    Fishing Spiders are found near bodies of water. They may also venture into nearby woods for terrestrial hunting. They are active during the summer months.

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    Details of the:
    Fishing Spider

    Category: Spider
    Common name: Fishing Spider
    Scientific Name: Dolomedes spp.

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Arachnida
         Order: Araneae
          Family: Pisauridae
           Genus: Dolomedes
            Species: spp.

    Size (Adult, Length): 7mm to 26mm (0.28in to 1.02in)

    Identifying Colors: brown, tan, gray

    Additional Descriptors: large, huge, biting, venomous, chevrons, zigzags, water

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Arkansas; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Nebraska; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Vermont; Virginia; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan

    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.

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