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Six-spotted Fishing (Dolomedes tenebrosus)

The Six-spotted Fishing Spider, also called the dock spider, is a species of large semi-aquatic arachnids. These diurnal spiders are chance predators and skilled hunters that are mostly seen close to the edges of pools and streams, amidst bushes, patiently waiting for unsuspecting prey.

Six-spotted Fishing

Scientific Classification

Physical Description and Identification

Adults

Size: As sexual dimorphism, the females are almost ⅔ times larger than the males. While the females are around 15–20 mm (almost 60 mm including the legs), the males are 9–13 mm in length. The size of the legs is an additional 50–90 mm.

Color: The body is brown to brownish grey with a white to pale cream color stripe on both sides of the cephalothorax. The abdomen of this spider is marked with several light color spots, as also dull white lines that run down along the sides of the abdomen.

Other Characteristic Features: They have the ability to run on the surface of the water, using surface tension for maintaining balance and buoyancy.

Six Spotted Fishing Spider Size

Eggs

After a successful mating, the egg casings in the female form during summer and remain attached to the underside of the mother until the spiderlings are ready to hatch. Egg production mostly happens at any time between June and September. The egg sac is relatively larger compared to the size of the female.

Six Spotted Fishing Spider Egg

Spiderlings

A few days prior to hatching, the mother attaches the egg sac to some plant matter and weaves a nursery web around it to protect the young juveniles. After hatching, the baby spiders live in the nursery web for about a week or so, while the mother continues to guard its offspring. In winter, they go through a period of hibernation, spending time underbrush, inside cracks and crevices of trees, or under rocks.

How Poisonous is the Six-spotted Fishing Spider

These spiders can bite humans, if only they feel threatened. However, such situations are rare, since they usually run away from people. Even if they bite, the pain is no more severe than the sting of a bee or wasp. Also, these spiders do inject venom when they bite. But it is not considered dangerous to humans unless someone is specifically allergic to it.

Six Spotted Fishing Spider

Quick Facts

Lifespan Females are thought to live for around a year; the males die soon after copulation
Distribution Found only in the western hemisphere in parts of USA, southern Canada, and probably in Mexico as well
Habitat Mostly in ponds, swamps, slow-moving streams, lakes, as well as wooded areas close to water bodies
Common predators Birds and snakes are their primary enemies; some dragonflies and wasps have also been seen preying upon them
Diet Aquatic insects and small fish
Six Spotted Fishing Spider Web

Did You Know

  • This six-spotted fishing spiders have the ability to stay underwater for several minutes grabbing onto a plant, especially when threatened.
Six Spotted Fishing Spider Picture

Image Credits: Nature.mdc.mo.gov, 2.bp.blogspot.com, Static.inaturalist.org, C1.staticflickr.com, Spiderbytes.org

The Six-spotted Fishing Spider, also called the dock spider, is a species of large semi-aquatic arachnids. These diurnal spiders are chance predators and skilled hunters that are mostly seen close to the edges of pools and streams, amidst bushes, patiently waiting for unsuspecting prey.

Six-spotted Fishing

Physical Description and Identification

Adults

Size: As sexual dimorphism, the females are almost ⅔ times larger than the males. While the females are around 15–20 mm (almost 60 mm including the legs), the males are 9–13 mm in length. The size of the legs is an additional 50–90 mm.

Color: The body is brown to brownish grey with a white to pale cream color stripe on both sides of the cephalothorax. The abdomen of this spider is marked with several light color spots, as also dull white lines that run down along the sides of the abdomen.

Other Characteristic Features: They have the ability to run on the surface of the water, using surface tension for maintaining balance and buoyancy.

Six Spotted Fishing Spider Size

Eggs

After a successful mating, the egg casings in the female form during summer and remain attached to the underside of the mother until the spiderlings are ready to hatch. Egg production mostly happens at any time between June and September. The egg sac is relatively larger compared to the size of the female.

Six Spotted Fishing Spider Egg

Spiderlings

A few days prior to hatching, the mother attaches the egg sac to some plant matter and weaves a nursery web around it to protect the young juveniles. After hatching, the baby spiders live in the nursery web for about a week or so, while the mother continues to guard its offspring. In winter, they go through a period of hibernation, spending time underbrush, inside cracks and crevices of trees, or under rocks.

How Poisonous is the Six-spotted Fishing Spider

These spiders can bite humans, if only they feel threatened. However, such situations are rare, since they usually run away from people. Even if they bite, the pain is no more severe than the sting of a bee or wasp. Also, these spiders do inject venom when they bite. But it is not considered dangerous to humans unless someone is specifically allergic to it.

Six Spotted Fishing Spider

Quick Facts

Lifespan Females are thought to live for around a year; the males die soon after copulation
Distribution Found only in the western hemisphere in parts of USA, southern Canada, and probably in Mexico as well
Habitat Mostly in ponds, swamps, slow-moving streams, lakes, as well as wooded areas close to water bodies
Common predators Birds and snakes are their primary enemies; some dragonflies and wasps have also been seen preying upon them
Diet Aquatic insects and small fish
Six Spotted Fishing Spider Web

Did You Know

  • This six-spotted fishing spiders have the ability to stay underwater for several minutes grabbing onto a plant, especially when threatened.
Six Spotted Fishing Spider Picture

Image Credits: Nature.mdc.mo.gov, 2.bp.blogspot.com, Static.inaturalist.org, C1.staticflickr.com, Spiderbytes.org

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