Spider in cave mouth

I was hiking and saw this spider in the mouth of a cave in the Ozarks in Arkansas (USA). I believe it is some kind of wolf spider. I have never seen a spider in the wild this large, except for tarantulas in Texas (USA). The approximate size from the tip of back leg to front was 7-8 inches. It was bigger then my hand and I am 6'1" tall man. The spider did not have anything to reference size and did not want get too close, though I am sure it was harmless. I can go back to cave and take same picture holding a ruler to the rock if needed.

I believe my initial guess was off mark. I am thinking this may be a fishing spider. I only say this due to it being on a vertical surface and having banded/striped legs. I have never heard of one attaining this size before. Any info on this spider is greatly appreciated.

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    $\begingroup$ Harmless to humans? All spiders are venomous, just some more than others, so I suspect you were wise not to get too close to something this size. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 19, 2016 at 8:00
  • $\begingroup$ The clues that point to a Fishing Spider (probably Dolomedes tenebrosus) are the nice stripy long legs and the very large size. I've seen numerous big females slightly less than hand-sized, and one memorable one which was just about as big as my hand (about 7" tip-to-tip the longest way). The abdomen looks a bit bulgey for a Dolomedes, but presumably she's nearly ready to lay eggs. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 27, 2017 at 21:43

1 Answer 1


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looks most like a Meta ovalis with a span of about 10 CM.

  • $\begingroup$ The spider in the question does not appear to be in the Araneoid superfamily at all (i.e. it is not a web-dwelling spider like Meta ovalis). $\endgroup$
    – JimN
    Commented Jan 4 at 11:11

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