Long Legged Fishing Spider from Arizona: Trechalea gertschi

strange spider in Sabino Canyon near Tucson
Hello Bugman!
I found this strange spider in the Sabino Canyon near Tucson. It was June, nearly 110°, and the water ponds in the canyon bottom were decreasing at a high pace. Around one of the ponds some of these spiders were sitting and some had amphibia larvae in their fangs. Strange, they rather looked like giant crab spiders; the one on the photo also moved like a crab. Do you have any idea what that might be? Thanks a lot!
Greetings from Daniel Jestrzemski (who really enjoyed his time in the US Southwest)

Hi Daniel,
This looked like one of the Dolomedes Fishing spiders, but leaner. The behavior you describe, including eating tadpoles, fits. We weren’t sure Fishing Spiders were found in Arizona. Then we located an image of Dolomedes gertschi. It looks identical to your spider and it was photographed in Arizona. Another posted image of Dolomedes gertschi looks quite different. It appears this species was first described in 1973.

Correction from Mandy Howe:  Trechalea gertschi
April 1, 2013
Hi Daniel (x2),

My name is Mandy, and I’ve talked to you guys once before (back in April 2012) about getting a link added to the “bug links” section, so that’s how I have both of your email addresses. 🙂

I came across a post at What’s That Bug that has an image of a spider that is not very commonly photographed and has a very restricted distribution, and I’d like to contact the photographer and see if they’d be willing to submit the images to BugGuide.net.  Are you guys allowed to give out their contact info?

The post is actually misidentified on your site (it’s family Trechaleidae, Trechalea gertschi) but it’s the one at this link: 2008/01/18/fishing-spider-from-arizona-dolomedes-gertschi-perhaps/.

Thanks for any help contacting Daniel!  (Whoa, another Daniel!) I know you guys are super busy, so don’t feel bad if there’s nothing you can do. I just figured it’s worth a shot to ask.

Mandy Howe
editor at BugGuide.net
staff at Spiders.us
reviewer at CalPhotos.org
spider consultant for AskANaturalist.org

P.S. I occasionally see some other spiders in passing that had an incorrect ID (e.g. the same page that originally brought the Trechalea to my attention actually had a Hogna baltimoriana wolf spider on it that was ID’d as a Dolomedes fishing spider).  I know you guys can ID practically everything under the sun, so I don’t mean that as a criticism (I love your site and the work you do to enlighten the masses), I just wanted to say that if you need any extra eyes on spider submissions in the future, feel free to contact me.  I’d be happy to help on the tough/iffy IDs, and am really passionate about the subject.  …

Hi Mandy,
Wow, this is an old posting.  We don’t really hold onto email addresses, but I will see if I can locate the contact information you requested.  Please provide a comment on the Wolf Spider incorrectly identified as a Fishing Spider so that I can make a correction.

Trechalea gertschi
Trechalea gertschi

Ed. Note:  April 10, 2013
Since we were searching our archives on another computer for the original digital files of these images, we thought we could post higher resolution photos as well, but alas, the original files are quite small.

Trechalea gertschi
Trechalea gertschi

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