02 June 2009

Huge spider with hairy legs


Last Saturday I saw this arachnid on a tree in the park near my house. It was about 2 m above the ground next to a large cavity, which was probably its hideout.

It's not possible to judge its size without a scale. Here is a picture of it with a ruler I was able to bring near it without making it run away. Its body was about 2.5 cm long.


It may have been the largest spider I have seen outside a zoo. Here is a close-up of the head.


I have posted another picture on BugGuide.Net. Hopefully, somebody will put a name on it.


Anonymous said...

Hi Aydin,

This is a Dolomedes Fishing Spider. I learned that from reading the site what'sthatbug.com to which I am a regular contributor. (Believe it or not, they even have a section for snails, slugs and other mollusks!) Anyway, take a look at [http://entomology.uark.edu/museum/dolomede.html] It looks like Dolomedes tenebrosus.

Best wishes,

Susan J. Hewitt


Susan, yes, someone on BugGuide.net also suggested that it is a Dolomedes. Thanks for the link. It says there that "They run freely over water in pursuit of prey, including small fish...and aquatic insects." I would love to watch one of them catch a fish. That would be fantastic.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I would love to see that too! I have never seen a Dolomedes, but I love spiders. Talking about water spiders, years ago back in England I kept a diving bell spider Argyroneta aquatica in a freshwater aquarium which contained lots of plants and many other local critters. It was really fascinating. Take a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argyroneta



Frank Anderson said...

I am pretty sure I found one of these dead on our dining room floor this morning. It was impressively large. This isn't as odd as it sounds -- we have a small pond right next to the house, and a lake next to that.

Andy said...

i think it's called a wolf spider. see this link: http://www.hgic.umd.edu/_media/documents/SpidersinMarylandHG9pfv.pdf


No, it's not a wolf spider (family Lycosidae). It's a Dolomedes (family Pisauridae).