Description: A very large fishing spider, similar to Dolomedes tenebrosus. Females range from 17 – 24 millimetres, males from 13 – 16 millimetres. The abdomen usually shows four “W-shaped” marks. Males have a broad whitish band around the entire cephalothorax, and a light band along the sides of the abdomen.
Habitat: Usually found near or on water, often on floating vegetation
Range: Nova Scotia to Manitoba, south to southern United States
Seasonality: Males spring to early summer, females late spring to early fall
Trivia: These formidable hunters can “skate” on the water’s surface and eat small tadpoles and fish as well as insects. Because of their habit of climbing onto shoreline structures, they are often called “dock” spiders.