Subject: Six Spotted Fishing Spider?
Location: West Milford, NJ
July 2, 2013 4:11 pm
I moved to NJ from WI about 3 years ago. I chose a house in Northern NJ, close to work but still in the woods. I’ve seen large insects & arachnids in WI. I used to play with Walking Sticks the size of a pencil when I was a kid.
Always amazed by Wolf Spiders. Recently learned their ability to overwinter. Even more astounding.
Then I started finding extremely large spiders around my house.
Especially near the creek by my house. With heavy rains as of late, I managed to find a corpse along the bank today. I’ve caught these before, but let them all go after a day or two of studying them. I’m almost positive this is a female Six Spotted Fishing spider. I watched one catch minnows one night, hanging off a rock in the current. Using its ”toes” it would lure the fish in. When the fish took a sample from its leg, it attacked, only losing one hook, to have a sushi meal.
I wanted to share this corpse, because of sheer size. I can’t get, or don’t want to, get close enough for pictures. These things are fast. And seem to have the intelligence & ability to jump from point to point. (Short distance, small gaps)
But at this size, a short distance can be 4+ inches!!
I’ve never seen spiders this large in an area with 4 months of winter. I’ve seen them on the side of the house, and some were larger than this….
Signature: Jordan S. Phillips
Based on this photo from BugGuide, we are more inclined to identify this as Dolomedes vittatus, not the Six Spotted Fishing Spider. Thanks so much for providing our readers with your amazing observations on the fishing habits of a Fishing Spider.