Dolomedes fishing spiders

Amblypygirl

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Jan 1, 2003
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Hi everyone,
I'm an undergraduate at the University of Michigan who is doing an honors thesis about sexual cannibalism among fishing spiders (Specifically the species Dolomedes scriptus or Dolomedes tenebrosus). They are large spiders (family Pisauridae) that hunt for aquatic insects and small fish on the edges of lakes and rivers. I posted a thread here about these spiders a while ago, and now I have a more specific question. For my experiment, I need a large quantity of adult individuals (both genders) from each of two different collection sites. I know these spiders tend to be somewhat gregarious, since I have seen tons of them in close proximity basking on rocks in Maine (they seem to like rocky shorelines). I was wondering if anyone else has seen this (that is, many fishing spiders in one area) anywhere closer to Michigan. Specific names of lakes or parks would be helpful. Thanks very much!
-C. Graham
 

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Wade

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Are you looking for help collecting spiders or just information? I've seen large numbers of D. triton along the banks of the lakes at Three Lakes Park here in Richmond, and at just about all other bodies of water as well. D. tenebrosus is less abundant, but is also seen fairly often.

Wade
 

LaRiz

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fishing spiders

True spiders aren't really my thing, but a guy at my workplace brought this to me and was wondering was it was.
Dolomedes tenebrosus
It's accurate that they're not always found in the vicinity of water, as this was captured very far from any water source.
She's been in my care for about 2 months and is doing great.
Capture locality is Hazleton, PA.
It is my understanding that they are also called "nursery-web spiders".
john

Commonly encountered PA spiders

Look for the fishing spider, but also check out the woodlouse hunter, which is another neat spider.
 

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Wade

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John-

Nice pic! The last one I kept was found in a bathroom! D. triton, on the other hand, lives up to the name "fishing spiders" as I almost always see them hunting on the surface of water.

Wade
 

sunnymarcie

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I think my son has one of these spiders...Not sure, it may be
a wolf spider. Do they look similar to a wolf?
A friend of his found it, rather IT found him, and they were
in his back yard, no water for miles!
My son took it to school so I will have to get a picture of it later.
I'm into Tarantulas not really any other spiders, so I have no
clue what this one is.:?
It did eat a cricket last night and it appears to be fine.
 

Wade

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Wolf spiders and fishing spiders are simmilar, but wolf spiders will have bigger, forward facing eyes. Also, wolf spider will usually stand with the legs arched (like a typical spider) while fishing spiders will hold their legs in a more flattened pattern as seen in the above pictures.

I don't think these are traits a taxonomist would use, but for us amatures, probably good enough :)

Wade
 

sunnymarcie

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Thanks Wade:)

Our little guest is probably a fishing spider.
I'll post his picture when my son brings him home.
 

Ultimate Instar

Arachnobaron
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Is anyone currently selling Dolomedes ssp.? Kelly Swift was selling some D. triton about a year ago, but I haven't seen any since that time.

TIA,
Karen N.
 

Wade

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Pics not great, but I'm pretty sure that's Dolemedes, probably D. tenebrosus.

I've kept them more or less the same way as an aboreal tarantula, with a couple pieces of cork bark leaned in the corner and a small water dish.

You might could try a semi-aquatic set-up. I've done it with D. triton, it might work with D. tenebrosus. I filled a 2 gallon aquarium halfway with water and included a few plastic aquarium plants emergeing from the water and a floating piece of cork.

Wade
 

sunnymarcie

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I was thinking about keeping this one, my son asked if we could.

We have an old tank out in the garage, I just have to go find it.
Since it's raining we will not have a game today and it can be
our weekend project.

There is a show here in Taylor on Saturday, so now we have
plenty to do=D

How can we tell if it is male or female? Just by size, or is there
another way?

I can try for a better picture if you want.
The spider is brown and tan. It has tiny eyes, two rows
in a semi- circle. It looks like a happy face almost.
It was difficult to get the pictures because it would not stay
still, I had to take them through the container.

It ate for us yesterday, so I figured it was ok.

How long do these spiders live?
 

Wade

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I'm not sure how much males and females differ in size, but all mature male spiders will have the modified pediplaps like you see on tarantulas.

I think they can live about 3 years total, much like larger wolf spiders.

I thin your pic is good enough. I'm about 90% sure its D. tenebrosus.

Good luck and have fun!

Wade
 

WildWitchyWoman

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Hi, I just happen to have one of these fishing spiders also, caught her on a fishing trip in Bucks County, Pa. about two weeks ago. These spiders were under most of the large rocks we turned over all along the shoreline of a large creek, many were females carrying hugh egg sacs in their fangs. We also followed one that was skimming across the water, but she had thinner legs and a little different coloration. She has a voracious appetite, pouncing on wax worms and crickets until she now looks like she's going to explode. Now she's sprawled across her water dish, soaking. Where can I find out more about this beatiful species? I'm trying to attach a pic of her, but not quite sure how.

~ Kathy ~
 

Wade

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When you hit "post reply", scroll down and you should see a button for "manage attachments". Hit that, and you should be able to upload pictures by hitting the "browse" button. There is a size limit, so you will want to crop your picture as much as possible, If it's still to big, you should be able to resize it with your graphics program. All I have is "Microsoft Photo Editor" and if that can do it, ANYTHING should be able to :)

Wade
 

WildWitchyWoman

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Thanks so much for the help Wade, my picture was way too big for this site. Since my last post, she has now made an angular web tent from the side of the keeper to the water dish. I'm going to give her a much larger 'lagoon' so she can swim if she wants to. Do you think she might fish for minnows if I put one in the water? She's wrestling with a cricket in the pic, that's why her legs are in a funny position. Normally she flattens out against the substrate.

~ Kathy ~
 

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Wade

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I'd say it's D. tenebrosus, or else a very closely related species. It might go after minnows in a dish, but you'd have better seeing that luck in a semi-aquatic tank.

Wade
 
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