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

Nursery Web or Fishing Spider? (plus, they’re just cool pictures!)
I live in the lowcountry of South Carolina and found this spider on my back patio a couple of weeks ago. The toad is a baby one, maybe about 1″ – 1 1/4″ long. I took so many pictures, this guy (gal?) must have gotten sick of my camera’s paparazzo flashblub because he took off across the lawn, taking the toad with him. I haven’t seen him since. I understand that, assuming this is the type of spider I think it is, that the bite is not lethal or particularly dangerous, but what if they get into a house and bite a small pet? Or even a baby or toddler? Thanks so much!
Samantha

Hi Samantha,
Wow! What a wonderful photo. This is a Dolomedes Fishing Spider, and it appears to be feasting on a Tree Frog. All spiders have venom, and it is possible that a bite could affect a sensitive person in a negative way. It is a sure bet that it would cause discomfort like swelling and or itching.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Fishing spider?
Hi! I think your website is fantastic and I wanted to positively identify this spider. I found it on our house (spanning a good 4 inches) in western NC and thought it might be a fishing spider. What do you think?
Thank you,
Kelley

Hi Kelley,
You are correct. This is a Dolomedes Fishing Spider, probably Dolomedes scriptus. Eric Eaton just corrected us: ” The fishing spider posted most recently is not D. scriptus, but Dolomedes tenebrosus in all likelihood. D. tenebrosus is usually found away from water, not so most of the others in the genus.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Wolf Spider?
Hello Bugman,
Took a photo of this lovely spider last summer but it got lost in the reams of electronic image files until recently. Can you confirm that this is a wolf spider? Neighbor swears it is.
Kind Regards,
James

Hi James,
Your neighbor is wrong. This is a Dolomedes Fishing Spider. They are large spiders capable of diving beneath the surface of the water where they can catch small fish. They are almost always found close to water and various species range from Canada to the Southern states.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

another spider
Hello, Mr. Bugman!
I have checked your site (a great place!) but I haven’t seen anything about the image I sent. (I probably missed it. I can feel myself getting embarrassed already!) Anyway, I will rely on your patience and understanding and ask again, what kind of spider is this? (I’m getting a lot of questions–still!–about this photo! It’s my background on my computer.)
Best,
Karin
Ed. Note Originally Sent: (10/25/2005) another spider
Thank you for your very interesting site. I find it very easy to use and I enjoyed reading about the spiders that were identified. I, too, found a spider that came in with the wood for the stove in the cottage. After much squealing, I persuaded the spider to get into a glass and placed it outside. I’ve attached a photo of the spider outside. The cottage is about half a mile from Georgian Bay, in Ontario, Canada. I’m sure it’s just an ordinary spider, but it caused a lot of excitement when I showed the photo at the office. I heard theories from wolf to wood to dock spider. Could you tell me what it is? (I think I may have just emailed you — in error — without the image. My apologies! The image, I promise, is now attached.)
Best,
Karin

Hi Karin,
Please forgive us. Your original letter probably got lost in transition. Our old webhost was not dependable, and often we lost service at the end of the month. This is a Dolomedes Fishing Spider. Dock Spider is probably a local name.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

large NC spider in hollow tree
Dear WTB,
I have greatly enjoyed your website. I originally found it when trying to identify the spider in the attached picture. At least i think it was the same kind, because that time i did not get a picture of it. Several months later, amazingly, i saw another one and was able to get a decent picture of it. I live in Durham, NC, and both times i saw this type of spider it was in a local NC State Park (two different parks). Both were originally just outside the hole in a hollow tree. Both skittered back into the
tree in a sort of clicky, crablike, alien way. All i know about the first one is that it was BIG. This one has at least a 3 inch leg span, maybe 4. The first time i was too spooked out to get any closer, because i never got a chance to look at it while it was still. This time it lingered a little longer outside the hole, so i could see that it was at least a spider and not something from another planet. So i looked up in the hole and saw it beside a big white thing. As i was watching, it grabbed the white thing and moved further up in the tree (it was dark, so maybe i was mistaken and the white thing was attached to it / carried by it the whole time instead of beside it… all i know is… when the white thing moved with it, it freaked me out). My friend put his digital camera in the tree, pointed it upward, and blindly took several photographs with the flash. The attached picture turned out to be pretty good and i thought, given the size of what i can only assume is its egg ball, that you would at least find it interesting if you can’t tell me what it is. I thought the egg ball was at least quarter size, but i don’t even want to think about how huge that would make the spider. I’m going with “at least 3 inches” to be safe, since i know the mind can magnify these things in retrospect.
thanks in advance!
jonathan (and terry, the picture-snapper)

Hi Jonathan and Terry,
Fabulous image of a female Dolomedes Fishing Spider, also known as a Nursery Web Spider. These large spiders do not build webs, preferring to stalk their prey. They are usually found near water and can run across the water as well as dive beneath the surface where they can remain for a half an hour. They sometimes catch small fish. That is the eggsac she is carrying. She will protect it fearlessly. When the time comes she will spin a Nursery Web and deposit the eggsac. This is the only web she will spin.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Spider in the Poconos
Hi,
We found this spider on our deck in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania and it appeared quite different than the typical brown spiders we see. Can you help us identify it?
Thanks,
Brian

Hi Brian,
This is a Nursery Web Spider, Pisaurina mira. Sometimes the Dolomedes Fishing Spiders are commonly called Nursery Web Spiders as well, and both genuses belong to the Family Pisauridae. These spiders do not build webs to capture prey. Instead they are hunting spiders. After the eggs are layed, the female carries the egg-sac with her and eventually builds a nursery web which she guards.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination