Subject: D. tenebrosus, male or female?
Geographic location of the bug: Ohio
Time: 10:00 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Hello Bug Folks!
I’ve got some wonderful photos of a Dolomedes tenebrosus (Fishing Spider) we caught last night in our Ohio basement. My housemate deals in exotics and this little friend was feasting on escaped crickets, good spider!
It’s actually bigger than some of his tarantulas. Housemate decided to keep it, at least for now.
I thought of you guys immediately, knew you’d want to see the photos (Sharpie marker for scale). I don’t know how dimorphic they are but can you tell if it’s a male or a female? I don’t want to keep calling our guest “it” and “spider,” I feel anybody living with us should have a name. The spider doesn’t care, but I do.
Please use our standard submission form for future submissions. Our gut instinct is that this is a female Fishing Spider. Many Spiders can be sexed because males have much more pronounced pedipalps that are used for mating and females are usually larger. We will attempt to do some further research on telling male and female Fishing Spiders from one another. Perhaps you will enjoy these images of mating Fishing Spiders from our archives.