Dock Spiders: Female with Spiderlings and probable smaller Male

Dolomedes Spider
Hi Daniel!
On a recent getaway up in the Muskokas in Ontario I finally found what I think is a dolomedes fishing spider. I’ve seen and read about them on your website, and often heard people talk about these “dock spiders”, but have never seen one in real life. Needless to say, I was quite excited when I found this spider and her spiderlings hanging out on the shed down by the water on the Lake of Bays. I’m guessing that her body was about an inch and a half in length and that she was at least 3 1⁄2 inches including leg span. I’m not sure if this is considered big for this type of spider. I tried a couple of times to get the nerve to put my hand or finger near her to give some better perspective of her size, but I just couldn’t do it. She was HUGE! There was an empty egg sac near her and hundreds of little baby spiders all hanging out in the same area. I’ll send a couple of shot of these. I hope you enjoy them. I’m also going to send a shot of a smaller dock spider that was found on the side of the dock close to the shed. Would this be a male? I ended up finding about 5 of these smaller spiders on the dock, but only one shot turned out. They are quite camera shy it seems. Thanks again for your great website.
Barrie , Ontario

The smaller dock spider
Hi again Daniel,
Here is the shot of the smaller dock spider. I’m guessing it’s male because it’s SO much smaller than the other spider I sent to you. I think this one including leg span was no more than 1 ? inch. Looks like I’m due for a manicure .
Barrie , Ontario

Hi Yvonne,
Thanks for your wonderful images and also for reminding us that in some areas, Fishing Spiders are called Dock Spiders. We believe your speculation that the smaller Dock Spider is a male is correct. In many groups of spiders, including Orb Weavers and Comb Footed Spiders, the male is considerably smaller than the female.

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