This was taken in Ann Arbor, MI. It looks a bit different from the wolf and grass spiders I'm used to seeing. Anyone know what this might be?

edit: Per request, I've uploaded a better picture. Actually, it's the same picture, but I postprocessed the first image quite a bit to ease identification. The second one is not post processed but (hopefully) clearer.

Processed image:

Processed image

Unprocessed image:

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ the camera focused on the trash instead of the spider. Do you happen to have a better image? $\endgroup$
    – AliceD
    Aug 5, 2015 at 1:39
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    $\begingroup$ Unfortunately stack overflow optimizes it a lot when I upload, and the quality suffers. Let me try Dropbox. Just a moment $\endgroup$
    – dgo
    Aug 5, 2015 at 1:43
  • $\begingroup$ Also consider switching your camera to a non-lossy format for future use, if possible. $\endgroup$
    – jzx
    Aug 5, 2015 at 20:09
  • $\begingroup$ @jzx - Can this be done on the iPhone 6 - do you know? $\endgroup$
    – dgo
    Aug 5, 2015 at 20:39
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    $\begingroup$ I am not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I think the lighting is pretty different in my examples. There are about 70 kinds of spiders generally in the U.S. The shapes are important, as are the habitat, the presence or absence of a web (fishing spiders don't usually make webs), an egg sack, etc. Narrowing things down significantly, this is my best guess . The eye pattern would help a lot. $\endgroup$ Aug 6, 2015 at 0:00

1 Answer 1


I can't tell how big your spider is. :( But I agree, it's probably not a wolf spider. (The fourth pair of legs is the longest in the wolf spider

I think it might be a fishing spider (Dolomedes tenebrosus). They do hang out in man made structures and are the most common fishing spiders found.

Fishing spiders are similar to the larger wolf spiders in size, shape, and coloration. Species in the genus Dolomedes are called fishing spiders because most live near water and have been reported to catch small fishes and aquatic insects from the water as they walk on the surface. The species Dolomedes tenebrosus is more frequently associated with wooded areas (it would be more accurately classified as a tree-dwelling spider) and is a common household invader in these locations. It occurs from New England and Canada south to Florida and Texas.

enter image description here enter image description here

The stripes on the legs are characteristic, the shape and size ratio of the thorax and abdomen are right, and they are smaller than their giant cousins that catch minnows (!). The coloration on the abdomen can vary. The females are 1.5 to 2.6 cm *about an inch) in length; males are smaller. The legs of both male and female are banded with alternating brown/black, scalloped rings on the femurs and reddish-brown/black rings on the tibia. Seeing an eye pattern and/or a good side view would help.

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ This is a great answer. Unfortunately - he has been released into the world, so I can't get any better pictures. The only thing that makes me question (not disagree) whether this is the right guy (or gal) is lightness of the hair on your guy. There are a million different reasons that that could explain that that are unrelated to anything biological, but it seems to me, mine is quite a bit darker. I'm certainly no expert, so I'd definitely defer to your wisdom here. Thoughts? $\endgroup$
    – dgo
    Aug 5, 2015 at 22:15

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