What kind of spjder is this? It was found in nova Scotia enter image description here


1 Answer 1


The rounded carapace of the cephalothorax, and the relatively slim, banded legs indicate that this is one of the terrestrial Dolomedes fishing spiders. The 'w' stripes on the abdominal pattern have white markings on the margins, but are not 'underlined' completely across in white, which rules out Dolomedes scriptus, in my experience. Also (although I think this can be somewhat variable in these particular Dolomedes), this spider does not have the familiar white rim to the cephalothorax and abdomen. Accordingly, I'll go with a rather light-colored individual of the fairly variable Dolomedes tenebrosus.

The links I enclose allow you to explore images of these spiders for your own interest:



Oh, yes - almost forgot. Although these spiders can give a noticeable bite, the venom is less trouble than the standard Polistes paper wasp sting. I have been bitten only once despite handling numerous females, and had almost no effects beyond a bit of pain and a small red bump. Like most spiders, these can control the amount of venom they inject, so mine might have been a 'dry bite', but I've heard nothing about bad effects from bites by this very common spider. I think it's safe to assume that this is a harmless spider - to us. They love beetles and other large arthropods.


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