Not a caterpillar

Yesterday someone knocked on my office door. I was momentarily annoyed at being interrupted. But when I opened the door, I saw a man holding a glass jar with parchment paper rubber-banded over the top. Jars with make-shift lids are always a good sign.

He said he was in the area visiting colleagues at UConn, and he noticed my door had bugs on it, so would I be interested in the biggest spider he’s ever seen?

Why yes. Yes I would.

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Not exactly a small spider.

Say hello to Miss Dolomedes tenebrosus, the fishing spider. She looks big and healthy, perhaps preparing to lay an egg sac (which she will then carry with her mouth).

I tried to take a few photos of her with my new camera rig, but she was not very cooperative. Even after a cool-down in the fridge, she was incredibly feisty. Here are a couple shots I managed to snag.


Legspan about 3″ across.


What pretty eyes!

I don’t really have a reason for posting these photos… but… do you need a reason to share a pretty spider? I think not.

Posted on June 18, 2013, in Invertebrates, Photography and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Everyone loves fishing spiders! I certainly do.

  2. What a gorgeous little (or big) beast!

  3. Three inches IS big, wow. I am not a great fan of spiders, I get slightly arachnophobis from time to time, but the eyes of a spider are wonderful no matter what spider it is. Almost every spider looks cute and fluffy on a close-up, with beady round shiny eyes… Lovely photos. It is hard to take pictures of animals that are moving all the time 🙂 Next ones will be better! 🙂

  4. Love your shots of the fishing spider. I have seen them only from a distance and find them to be very beautiful (and the fact that they can walk on water and actually swim under water make them really cool).

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Ryerson Lab

Functional Morphology, Sensory Biology, Behavior, Biomechanics

I spell it nature

Trying to make sense of the world through science and language.

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