AAARGGHH! We hope there aren’t more of them under the dock.
Location: Southeast Wisconsin, Lac La Belle Oconomowoc
August 17, 2011 9:35 pm
This REALLY big scary looking spider is the first of its kind ever noticed at this location – on the dock at Lac La Belle in Oconomowoc, WI. It waited all day near what we think is it’s web, seen in one photo with finger pointing at ?egg sack vs. dinner? We lake people are used to daddy-long-legs and other spider varieties and bugs of all kinds, but this specimen seems awfully exotic. Any ideas?
Signature: Delahunt Clan
Dear Delahunt Clan,
This magnificent specimen is a female Fishing Spider in the genus Dolomedes. Many species are found near water and some species actively hunt aquatic prey, diving beneath the surface of the water, remaining under for extended periods of time and catching small fish or tadpoles. Fishing Spiders are hunting spiders that do not build a web to snare prey, however, they are in the Nursery Web Spider family, and they build a web in a suitable location after carrying around the egg sack in their chelicerae or fangs. When she finds a suitable location for her Nursery Web, the female spider will guard the eggs. Thanks for sending us this wonderful documentation. Fishing Spiders are not considered to be dangerous to humans, though we concede that they might bite, though we have never received a report of a person being bitten by a Fishing Spider.
Thanks so much for your prompt reply!
Our family has had a good time with this new adventure.
And as magnificent as this “specimen” truly is, we really really hope there aren’t more of them under the dock.
But now we know there probably are. : )
Fishing Spiders are also known as Dock Spiders as indicated in this University of Minnesota Extension website posting.