Currently viewing the category: "Nursery Web Spiders"
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Dear Bugman,
I attached a picture of a spider I found while cleaning a pond in my backyard in southwest Louisiana. I thought it was one of the most beautiful spiders I’d ever seen- kind of a mossy green with blue spots on its abdomen. I did some research and I’m pretty sure it’s a diving spider because I watched it go under a couple of times. At one point I think it even attacked a fish. Do you know the specific name for it and any more info?
Thanks,
Fran

Hi Fran,
We are very excited by your letter and photo since the Six Spotted Fishing Spider is a new species for our site. Dolomedes triton is a beautiful spider and not easily confused with any other. It is greenish brown with silvery white lengthwise stripes along each side of the body. Abdomen has two rows of six white spots. It is found in slow moving streams and ponds. They eat small insects, tadpoles and fish. They are often found on water vegetation. According to Comstock: “This beautiful species is common in marshy places. It lives on plants over water, and dives freely when frightened, hiding under floating leaves. It is widely distributed, found in the east from New England to Texas, and is also known from across the northern part of the country in some of our western states and in Canada.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Can you identify this for me…?
I’m curious about this spider. Is it a fishing spider. It was on the side of the dock early in the a.m. at Little Lake St. Joseph in Muskoka Ontario. Interesting site! Have it bookmarked now
Thanks
Theresa Durning

Hi Theresa,
Your spider is indeed a Fishing Spider, one of the Dolomedes species. It does illustrate an interesting aspect of spider physiology since it has regrown two legs. According to Comstock: “The Reproduction of Lost Organs.– The reproducing of legs that have been lost by immature spiders is frequently observed. If a leg be lost by a young spider the wound soon heals, and at the succeeding mount the bud of a new leg appears. This bud increases in size at each succeeding moult; and in time, if the process begins early enough in the life of the spider, a functional leg is obtained.” In your image, the two middle legs on the left (the spider’s right) have regenerated. Your photograph is a very interesting addition to our site.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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,
Sid

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.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Very Large Spider in Garage
Hello,
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.
Michael

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

Wondering
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.
Thanks,
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.
Gina
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