Dolomedes triton, the Six-spotted fishing spider;
Lowndes county, Georgia (28 May 2013).
Anybody who’s spent any time near the freshwater systems of the American southeast knows this species, though perhaps not by name. Though they range across most of the United States and even significant portions of Canada, the Six-spotted fishing spider seems to be particularly abundant in the American southeast. A fairly small species, this fishing spider is exactly that — a tiny arachnid that hunts aquatic life from the surface tension of the water above. They are, in their tiny way, remarkably badass. I’m sure a few freshwater angles in Florida quietly hold admiration for this spider’s ability to “fish” from the surface.
I see eight spots!
Yeah, it’s not a great common name, is it? The common name refers to six spots on the ventral portion of the spider — not the dorsal side, which is the side most humans actually see. Common names can be so, so misleading!
Hope you’re rocking a solid new year, Losos! I’m gearing up for some south Florida anolis action soon. It’s been far too damn long!