Information on Fishing Spiders


The fishing spider, also known as the dock spider, is a member of the Dolomedes genus. It is similar to other spiders in that it is carnivorous, but instead of hunting on the ground or relying on a web, it uses its skill in the water.


  • It is dark brown or gray, with white markings. It is 1 inch long and can cover 4 inches with legs spread. Though large, it does not cause a serious bite.


  • The fishing spider lives all over the U.S. but is especially common in the south. It is typically found near ponds, swamps and slow-moving streams.

Hunting Strategy

  • It sits near water, watching for prey such as insects that land on the water or minnows that are just beneath the water. Once it spots prey, it darts onto the water, either by swimming or walking on the water. It is capable of catching tadpoles and small fish.

Special Skills

  • It has excellent vision and a well-developed sense of touch. If it is disturbed near the water, it can go beneath the surface and stay motionless for up to 45 minutes.

How They Move on Water

  • Fishing spiders actually "row" across the water using the dimples their legs make on the water's surface.


  • Photo Credit Image by, courtesy of Powi) (Per Ola Wiberg
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