This Terrifying Spider Hunts Fish Underwater

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If the prospect of a spider that catches fish wasn’t scary enough, the fishing spider is disturbingly well-adapted to its task. This includes walking on water, as well as breathing underneath it as it stalks its prey.Dolomedes is a genus of large spiders of the family Pisauridae. They are also known as fishing spiders, raft spiders, dock spiders or wharf spiders.

image credit: Smithsonian Channel

Almost all Dolomedes species are semi-aquatic, with the exception of the tree-dwelling D. albineus of the southwestern United States. Many species have a striking pale stripe down each side of the body.

They hunt by waiting at the edge of a pool or stream, then when they detect the ripples from prey, they run across the surface to subdue it using their foremost legs, which are tipped with small claws; like other spiders they then inject venom with their hollow jaws to kill and digest the prey.

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They mainly eat insects, but some larger species are able to catch small fish. They can also climb beneath the water, when they become encased in a silvery film of air. Six-spotted spiders can also walk on water to get their prey. Dolomedes is derived from the Greek word “dolomed” which means wily, deceitful.

VIASmithsonian Channel
SOURCEwikipedia
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