Currently viewing the category: "Nursery Web Spiders"
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scary spider
Hello, I’ve been looking on the web for about an hour now trying to identify this spider that I found today in a wooded area in Maryland. It’s size(3 to 3 1/2 inches or so sprawled out) and menacing appearance scared me today when I turned over a board. Can you please identify this for me? When I tried to scare it off of the board ( I didn’t want to squash it), it released a white substance out of its rear at me.
Thanks for your help,

Hi Sid,
Your photograph of a Fishing Spider from the genus Dolomedes is pretty great. These awesome spiders are actually capable of walking on water and then diving below the surface where they can remain more than 30 minutes. Sometimes they even catch small fish, hence the common name. They are also called Nursery Web Spiders because of the maternal behavior the females exhibit. Though large, they are not dangerous to humans. Your species is most probably Dolomedes tenebrosus or Dark Dolomedes. It is one of the largest species.

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Very Large Spider in Garage
I was getting my lawn mower out of the garage this morning and came across this big guy. Can you please Identify and let me know if it’s dangerous?
Thank You.

Hi Michael
Though startlingly large, spiders from the genus Dolomedes, commonly known as Fishing Spiders, are harmless. They do not build webs but hunt for food. They are often found near water and they can dive below the surface and remain there for thirty minutes. They often catch small fish while underwater.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I found your website after finding and killing this wonder in my yard. The body is almost an inch long and the legs are just over an inch long. His smaller top part of his body reminds me of a crab as you can see it’s a little flatter. I’m in North west Georgia and found him on the side of my house. I found no web near him. I was petrified at first then after finding your site I feel bad that it might be perfectly harmless. Please let me know in case I come across more then I can be more informed.
Big doesn’t necessarily mean bad.
Annette Fox

Hi Annette,
Yes, big does not mean bad. You have squashed what appears to be a Whitish Dolomedes, Doloemedes albinus, or possibly a color variation on one of the other Dolomedes. These are sometimes called Fishing Spiders or Nursery Web Spiders. They will not harm you. They do not build webs to capture prey, just to lay eggs.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Need Identification Help on Spider
Dear Bugman,
I was wondering if you could help me identify this particular spider. I live in Northeast Texas, about 10 feet off of a river. I at first thought it was some sort of wolf spider but its coloring was not the brown I am used to seeing. The silver color really jumped out and caught my attention, especially against the brown background. I can’t imagine this sneaking up on anything! J Also, does his stance (4 front legs together and forward) imply anything or is he just resting? Thanks for your time and help.
P.S. The board he is hanging out on is a 2×4 underneath my porch.

Hi Gina,
You have a fishing spider from the genus Dolomedes. These large spiders are usually found near water and are capable of catching small fish. I’m guessing your species is Dolomedes albineus, commonly called the Whitish Dolomedes. “This is a large species,” according to Comstock, “closely allied to D. tenebrosus. The female is easily recognized by a yellowish longitudinal band edged with black on the ventral (ed. note: your view is dorsal) aspect of the abdomen. … This is a Southern species. Hentz states that it does not dwell habitually in caves and cellars, but is usually found on the trunks of trees, yet in dark, shady places.” The stance appears to be a resting position.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Huge Spider??
I live in Calvert County, Maryland and I found this HUGE spider hanging on the brick of my front porch. There is no web around and it looks like he live in a space behind the brick. Can you tell me what this might be??
Freaked out

Don’t be freaked out Autumn,
Your Northern Dolomedes, Dolomedes scriptus, is probably more afraid than you are. These are beautiful spiders which do not build a web, preferring to stalk prey. The female cares for her young in a very maternal manner. These spiders are also commonly called Fishing Spiders and Nursery Web Spiders since the only time they make a web is to care for their young. They are capable of catching small fish and are often found near water.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Would love to know what spider this is and if it should be relocated?
Thank you,
Jennifer Stevens

Hi Jennifer,
We are craving more information, like exact size and location. Our guess is that you have photographed a beautiful Northern Dolomedes, Dolomedes scriptus, or possibly the Dark Dolomedes, Dolomedes tenebrosus, in late afternoon sunlight. These spiders are related to Wolf Spiders and are sometimes called Diving Spiders. They are quite large. This is one of the larger species and is common in the North. Please do not kill your beautiful spider, and rather relocate it.

Good Morning Daniel,
I live in Soutern New Jersey and please do not worry I would only relocate her were she dangerous. Seeing as how she has been totally non-aggressive to me while taking her photos I am happy to let her raise her babies in my yard. I will be wearing shoes in the yard from now on LOL She is about 3 inches in diameter She was back on the dryer spout last night if she is there again tonight I will try to get afew more shots of her. I was also told my another bug guy that he thought it was a “fishing spider” thanx,

Hi again Jennifer,
I’m so happy to hear you will be cohabitating. Dolomedes are also called fishing spiders or diving spiders. The large ones can dive below the surface of a pond and capture a small fish. They are very maternal, with the mother spider caring for her spiderlings, allowing them to crawl on her back for several days after emerging from the eggsac she also carries.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination