Currently viewing the category: "Nursery Web Spiders"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Spider ID
Geographic location of the bug:  Llubovane Dam, Eswatini, Southern Africa
Date: 02/25/2020
Time: 12:03 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Good day,
Please can you ID these two spiders. The large one is beautiful. They were on a dead tree stump in the dam. The large one was walking down the stump under the water and coming back up, perhaps looking for food?
How you want your letter signed:  Jacqui

Fishing Spider we believe

Dear Jacqui,
The behavior you witnessed, “large one was walking down the stump under the water and coming back up, perhaps looking for food?”, and the markings on the carapace are both consistent with Fishing Spiders from the genus
Dolomedes found in North America, as evidenced by this BugGuide image.  While we have not had any luck locating any similar looking South African members of the genus, according to Wikipedia:  “The second largest number of species occur in tropical Africa.”  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to identify your gorgeous spider to the species level.  We do not know the identity of the smaller Spider in your image.  According to Science Direct:  “Sierwald (1988) examined predatory behavior of the African pisaurid Nilus curtus O.P.-Cambridge (=Thalassius spinosissimus [Karsch]). Its hunting posture is like that of Dolomedes, anchored by one or more hindlegs to an emergent object with its remaining legs spread on surface of water. When disturbed, the spider pulls itself below the surface of the water by crawling down an emergent object. They can remain submerged for up to 35 min. Prey swimming under water (insects, tadpoles) are grabbed by the front legs pushing down through the surface film. Prey trapped by surface tension were jumped on if close enough, or rowed to if further away.”  Members from the genus Nilus pictured on iNaturalist do resemble your individual.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Big ass spider
Geographic location of the bug:  Statenisland NY 10312
Date: 11/06/2019
Time: 07:56 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  What is this this big a×× spider…. it jumps
How you want your letter signed:  Thanks Elizabeth

Fishing Spider

Dear Elizabeth,
This is a Fishing Spider in the genus
Dolomedes.  Though it is large and frightening, Fishing Spiders are not aggressive towards humans and the bite is not considered dangerous.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Is this a spider wasp?
Geographic location of the bug:  Conyers GA
Date: 09/24/2019
Time: 04:07 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Just wondering what type of bug this is. It was dragging a very large spider as it went along.
How you want your letter signed:  Belinda

Spider Wasp and prey

Hi Belinda,
This is definitely a Spider Wasp.  Based on this BugGuide image, it appears to be
Entypus unifasciatus. The prey appears to be a Fishing Spider in the genus Dolomedes, and according to BugGuide:  “Females dig a burrow that ends in a terminal chamber off of the side of a mammal burrow or large crack in the ground. The serrations on the hind tibiae are used to aid the movement of soil out of the burrow entrance. The position in which the egg is laid is unknown. Larvae feed on one large spider and, as in all Pompilids that have one generation per year, overwinter as pupae.”  Most images of this Spider Wasp are with prey that are Wolf Spiders like this BugGuide image, but Fishing Spiders surely constitute “one large spider.”  Perhaps an expert in Spider Wasps will be able to provide comments regarding the prey.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What is this large spider? 2nd request
Geographic location of the bug:  Northeast Maine
Date: 07/15/2019
Time: 09:47 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi. I found this large spider after a heavy rain on north side of my house – early evening. It is at least 3 inches with legs. It is huge and rather scary. Some research leads me to believe it is a fishing spider and that it is not dangerous… I would love you to confirm that.  I saw it again on a darker evening  – I thought it was a small mouse it is so large… we live in a wooded area with a small brook.
How you want your letter signed:  Dianne

Fishing Spider

Dear Dianne,
You are correct.  This is a harmless Fishing Spider in the genus
Dolomedes, most likely the Northern Fishing Spider.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Fishing Spider
Geographic location of the bug:  Southwest Florida (Naples, FL)
Date: 09/12/2018
Time: 05:19 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  The fishing spider in the photo was on the water’s surface at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Naples, Florida, on September 7, 2018. It is not one of our four native fishing spiders (D. triton, D.okefinakensis, D.albineus, P.mina). Is this an exotic, and if so, do you know what it is?
How you want your letter signed:  DBrewer

Fishing Spider

Dear DBrewer,
This does resemble
Dolomedes triton in our opinion.  According to BugGuide:  “This species and D. striatus appear to have striped femurs. While all other species have banded femurs.”  Perhaps one of our readers will have a different idea.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What spider is this carrying it’s egg sac?
Geographic location of the bug:  Robertson, Western Cape, South Africa
Date: 08/13/2018
Time: 12:19 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi there,
We were wondering if you could tell us what kind of spider this is carrying it’s egg sac?
Thanks!
How you want your letter signed:  Pearce

Nursery Web Spider with Egg Sac

Dear Pearce,
We can narrow this identification down to the family, but we cannot say for certain that we know the genus or species.  There are two families of Spiders where the female carries about the egg sac.  Wolf Spiders in the family Lycosidae drag the egg sac from the spinnerets while Nursery Web Spiders, including Fishing Spiders, in the family Pisauridae carry the egg sac in the chelicerae or fangs.  Your individual is a Nursery Web Spider.  According to BioDiversity Explorer:  “All pisaurids construct a round white egg case that is carried under the sternum held in the chelicerae (jaws). This causes them to assume a tiptoe stance. Just before the eggs are due to hatch, the female constructs a nursery web around the egg case. This is attached to the vegetation with a supporting web around it. The spiderlings leave the nursery after one or two moults.”  Wikimedia Commons has an image that looks very much like your individual, and it is identified as
Chiasmopes lineatus, but there are no images of that genus on BioDiversity Explorer.  The only other representative of the genus we could find is on Project Noah, but it is a much thinner and smaller male.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination