Subject: Fishing spider?
Location: Southeast texas
April 1, 2017 8:01 am
I have a backyard pool that we don’t clean or put chemicals in during the winter, so by the time spring comes the pool is full of life. After a storm came a trash bag flew into the pool and when I pulled it out it had this guy on it. From his (or her?) distinctive spots I assume it’s a 6 spotted fishing spider, but I’m not sure. The spider would have had its legs hanging a few mm off of a quarter if he had been standing on one. Around the edge of the pool I have been finding dried out dead spiders stuck on the side with a little bit of webbing. Could those be what this guy leaves behind? How big can these spiders get? Thanks!
We agree that this is a Six Spotted Fishing Spider, Dolomedes triton, a species that is generally found near a body of water, and it sounds like your dormant swimming pool has been a perfect environment for her. Since it sounds like you are getting ready to clean the pool, we hope you are able to relocate this beauty so that she can live out her life and produce progeny. The “dried out dead spiders” you describe might have been prey, or they might have been cast off exoskeletons left behind when this individual molted. Since it is the first of the month, we will be selecting your submission as the Bug of the Month for April 2017.