Currently viewing the category: "Nursery Web Spiders"
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Subject: Spider identification.
Location: Burriville, RI
January 10, 2016 5:34 pm
Dear Bugman,
I am curious if you can identify this particular spider. Usually the biggest spider we get around here are wolf spiders but this one is larger and has a different coloration. This was taken in the spring and I found it under my car while washing it. I was able to get close so that tells me it doesn’t scare easy.
Signature: John

Fishing Spider

Fishing Spider

Dear John,
This is a Fishing Spider in the genus
Dolomedes, and we believe it is most likely Dolomedes tenebrosus which you can verify by comparing your individual to this BugGuide image.  Fishing Spiders are quite large and most species are found not far from fresh water.

Wow thank you very much! That makes a lot of sense, because I live pretty close to the town reservoir. I see now you’ve addressed this spider a few times before, my apologies my phone didn’t load the site properly at the time. Again thank you for your time.

There is no need to apologize.  We like being able to post new content to our site daily.  We also like having multiple examples of the same species as that helps in future identifications as well as acting as a species range indication.  Your posting did get 11 likes from our readers in just three days.

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Subject: Hello and hairy spider
Location: Hollywood California
November 25, 2015 8:24 pm
Hello bugman! So at work today we found a nice sized brown spider, and it is not one I have seen before. I work in North Hollywood California at a warehouse near the Burbank airport. We get shipments in from Japan, Korea, & China (and I mention this only if this species is found outside of the US). It is fairly active, and I am assuming that it is a male due to the size of its Pedipalps (I can be totally wrong tho haha). As for its description, it is brown, hairy, roughly about 2 inches wide (with legs spread out). It has eight eyes, 4 in a row stacked (Top are larger, with the 2 center being the biggest)and the 4 below it are much smaller. Its fangs rest underneath it, folded in. I decided to take it home and made a small enclosure for it which is roughly 4x4x8. I have a few more pictures of it if needed, and I hope I can get an ID with the info that I provided haha. Thanks a bunch! You are the best!
Signature: Jeeb

Spider

Spider

Dear Jeeb,
You have us stumped.  The only spider we can think of with this general size and coloration that we would expect to find in Southern California is a Giant Crab Spider,
Olios giganteus, but the front two pairs of legs on your individual look far too short and the chelicerae seem much too light.  What your spider really reminds us of is a Nursery Web Spider like this lovely golden Pisaurina mira pictured on BugGuide, but they do not range into the western states.  It doesn’t appear your individual has spun a web, so we are concluding it is some species that hunts rather than a species that waits to snare prey, but we do not believe this is a Wolf Spider.  We are contacting Eric Eaton and Mandy Howe for some assistance.  Stay tuned.

Spider

Spider

Eric Eaton agrees with our ID of a Nursery Web Spider
Daniel:
I agree it looks most like Pisaurina mira.
Happy Thanksgiving!
Eric
author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America
http://bugeric.blogspot.com/

Spider

Spider

Mandy Howe confirms identification
Hi Daniel,
Weird! (In California, I mean.) It looks like a Pisaurina mira to me, too. It’s a penultimate male and it seems “big” so I tried to use the ruler to estimate the size and looks like he’s about 15mm in body length, which is the upper limit for the males already (they’re described as being 10-15mm full grown). Never really seen one of these get transported before, but anything’s possible! Maybe in shrubs or plants from a nursery or something? There are some similar-looking spiders in the family Pisauridae from around the world, but I’d guess our native P. mira would be more likely. I’ll ask around and see if anyone else has seen these in CA. The last time I was surprised was when I saw some hobo spiders from Pickering, Ontario and it turned out to be a “known” established population that arachnologists just hadn’t published or publicly talked about. So I’ll ask about this one too and see if anyone “knows” anything.
(The eye arrangement rules out the Ctenidae species from Central/South America; I just mention that because some ctenids can look similar to this too, and occasionally get transported.)
Happy Thanksgiving to the both of you, too! I’m still in a turkey coma at the moment….
Mandy

Thanks for the confirmation Mandy.  We will attempt to get additional information from Jeeb, or request that he keep an eye out for any females to determine if there is an established population in Southern California.

Hello Daniel,
Thank you very much for this update and I hope you had a good thanksgiving! This has been pretty exciting ha ha, i’ll keep an eye out to see if there are any other of these guys at work, especially if its a female. Where is this species normally found?
I am glad to help out in anyway I can, please let me know if you need anything from me. As for housing it/keeping it, let me know if there is any place I can take it to, or if you guys would be interested in taking it. Ha ha, if I hold onto him it would most likely be as a pet, so if I can take him somewhere that would benefit any sort of research I would be more than happy to oblige.
Thanks again!

Hi again Jeeb,
Pisaurina mira is found in eastern North America and it is nit reported west of Texas according to BugGuide.  We don’t believe Nursery Spiders are commonly kept as pets as they do not live very long.  You can try contacting the LA County Museum of Natural History Spider Survey.  We recently conated a large gopher snake that was struck by a car in front of our offices and we got a very nice behind the scenes tour.

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Subject: Orange Spider in Michigan
Location: Big Rapids, MI
September 15, 2015 11:31 am
Hi,
I’m just trying to help a friend ID this spider he came across while clearing some brush out in the woods near Big Rapids, MI. It was the size of a half dollar.
Signature: CC

Nursery Web Spider

Nursery Web Spider

Dear CC,
This gorgeous spider is a harmless Nursery Web Spider in the genus
Pisaurina, and it is more brightly colored than the typical common member of the genus Pisaurina miraBugGuide includes some images of orange individuals.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Large spider by swimming pool
Location: Rollingwood, Texas
August 3, 2015 6:01 am
This approx. 3 inch spider has been lying in wait for prey (we think) right inside the opening to one of our pool’s skimmer baskets. There is some rather loose webbing spun inside where we can reach in to remove the basket proper.
I can’t find a spider with similar markings – everything I find has lighter color bands between darker bands rather than dark bands in the center. The legs are slightly banded as well.
I’d like to get proper ID so I can assure folks using the pool the spider isn’t after them and is harmless to swim around? Thank you very much.
Signature: AnxiousPoolMom

Fishing Spider

Six Spotted Fishing Spider

Dear AnxiousPoolMom,
This is definitely a Nursery Web Spider in the family Pisauridae, and we are relatively certain it is a Six Spotted Fishing Spider,
Dolomedes triton, which is a variable species that can be viewed on BugGuide.  Fishing Spiders in the genus Dolomedes are frequently found in the immediate vicinity of a body of water, hence the attractiveness of your pool.  Though they get quite large, Fishing Spiders are not aggressive towards humans and they are not considered dangerous.  There is always the possibility that a bite might occur if carelessly handling a larger spider, but we feel the chances of being bitten are quite slim.

Six Spotted Fishing Spider

Six Spotted Fishing Spider

Daniel:  Thank you!  We have two adult children (one of whom brings his dog over to swim) and though neither is particularly skittish around spiders, due to the size of this one I wanted to be able to assure them there’s no reason to try and harm the spider or even chase it off.  We don’t spray (with rare exceptions) and try to take a no-kill approach whenever possible.  I always feel proper ID is one of the best adjuncts to that approach, but simply couldn’t make the identification in this case.
I sincerely appreciate your help. /Deb Wilson

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: what is this spider?
Location: Stafford Virginia
July 18, 2015 3:05 pm
Can you tell me what this spider is?
Signature: Katyana

Fishing Spider

Fishing Spider

Dear Katyana,
This is a harmless Fishing Spider in the genus
Dolomedes.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Spider
Location: Rhode Island , USA
July 11, 2015 2:03 pm
Is this a grass spider?
Signature: Kirsten

Nursery Web Spider with Egg Sac

Nursery Web Spider with Egg Sac

Dear Kirsten,
This is not a Grass Spider.  This pretty little lady is a Nursery Web Spider,
Pisaurina mira, and she is carrying her egg sac.  Nursery Web Spiders are harmless, and not aggressive except when defending their young.  The female Nursery Web Spider has very strong maternal instincts, and she carries her egg sac with her until she finds an appropriate place to leave it.  She then spins a nursery web and continues to guard the eggs and the young until they are ready to disperse.  Nursery Web Spiders are hunting spiders that do not build a web to snare prey.  The sole purpose of the web is for a nursery.

Nursery Web Spider with Egg Sac

Nursery Web Spider with Egg Sac

Hi Daniel!
Thank you so much for this information … Glad to know she is not aggressive despite her intimidating size. I did not kill her, but did gently relocate her with a garden rake( I really needed the length as I fear spiders) ,and she held on to her egg sac , into some woods behind my house. Hope she can find a nice place away from my chair lounger!
Thanks!
Kirsten

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination