What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Large water spider on dock
May 31, 2010
We see these big ones all summer long on the riverside docks. Can you tell what kind it is? i always try to save them, but occasionally family members will kill, claiming to have suffered awful bites. i don’t know, I was never bitten by one, so I wonder what they are….For size reference, it is sitting on a 2×6 board. Very fast, too. This one was doing something with it’s legs, so they look funny in some of the pics but it was unharmed 🙂
Thanks,
James
Fairfield, Maine, USA

Fishing Spider

Hi Frank,
Your spider is a Fishing Spider in the genus Dolomedes, probably Dolomedes scriptus based on images posted to BugGuide.  Fishing Spiders are perfectly harmless, though they might be capable of biting a person.  That is not something we have ever received a report about.  Fishing Spiders are generally found near water, and they are capable of running across the water’s surface and even diving beneath the water and remaining for short periods of time.  Some Fishing Spiders are able to catch small fish.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

2 Responses to Bug of the Month June 2010: Fishing Spider, probably Dolomedes scriptus

  1. Sandra Madama says:

    August 8th. 2014
    Hi, I live in Summerville SC. A friend of mine has this spider up in a corner of her front Porch behind a lighting fixture. We live by a creek that is just a little over 100 yards. from her front door. There are no fish. The other closest body of water is at least three miles from us. Neither one of us go fishing. How is it possible that this spider found it’s way home to her house?! Lol… We don’t want to kill it. But would like to move it to another location preferably near water, back in it’s own habitat. As it gives her the willies to even think of walking out her front door. What would be the best way to remove it? Thank you looking forward to your reply. Sandy Madama

    • bugman says:

      They are commonly found near water, and your creek at 100 yards away is much closer than water sources for most folks. We don’t have advice for an arachnophobe as catching the spider in a glass would require getting very close. This is not a harmful or dangerous spider, and we would encourage your friend to overcome the fear as having a harmless predator so close will help keep other undesirable pests in check.

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