Monday, November 10, 2008

11-08-08 Fishing Spider

The Future Scientists were keen enough to spot a fishing spider, despite its excellent camouflage.

Fishing spiders are often mistaken for wolf spiders, but the fishing spiders have longer, slenderer, lady-likerer legs. Some of the fishing spiders may be the largest spiders in Ohio.

True to their name, sometimes these spiders will catch small fish and other vertebrates such as tadpoles or small frogs. However, insects are the most common happy meal for these eight-legged monster-beasts. Some species of these spiders may zip underwater if disturbed, and may even stay under for thirty minutes! The Future Scientists are a civilized bunch, and did not disturb the spider.

The fishing spiders are in the "nursery web spider" family. After the big momma spider lays its eggs, it will carry the egg sac in her jaws wherever she goes. Then, when it is time for the spiderlings to be born, the big-momma will spin a "nursery web" with its silk and perhaps throw in some leaves. The egg sac is then gently placed into the nursery, and mommy spider will stay with the sac until almost all the spiderlings are born and dispersed. Nursery web spiders do not use their silk to catch prey, only to pad their babies.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's such a cool picture!