Fishing Spider (Pisauridae: Dolomedes), J.W., Sealy TX

Whitebanded Fishing Spider 072908 Sealy TX BocyWhitebanded Fishing Spider Sealy TX 072908 EntireThe photo on the right (enlarged on the far right to show details of the cephalothorax and abdomen) was taken by J.W., in Sealy, Texas, on 072908. The fishing spiders are entelegyne spiders in the family Pisauridae. In North America the pisaurids are represented by three genera and fourteen species; N.A. fishing spiders represent nine species in the genus Dolomedes, and are among our largest spiders. The only species among that nine that is arboreal is the whitebanded fishing spider (Dolomedes albineus). This leads me to suppose this specimen to be of that species, though I have received photos of several fishing spiders reposing on tree trunks that appear different enough to be separate species. The whitebanded fishing spider spends most of its time in trees, where it feeds on insects, geckos, and tree frogs. This specimen had a legspan of more than four inches. Its carapace is relatively unmarked, but note that the eyes are hidden within a dark mask, and that the anterior abdomen has owlish eye markings similar to those of the fishing spider photographed by Shane, in Bulverde, TX on 072508, and by Rob S., in East TX, on 110908.

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