Arachnids of North Carolina
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View Pisauridae Members: NC Records

Dolomedes tenebrosus - Dark fishing spider


Taxonomy
Order: ARANEAEInfraorder: AraneomorphaeFamily: Pisauridae                                                                                 
Comments: Originally described as D. tenebrosus Hentz, 1844, despite some early reassignments, it has remained retained its original name for nearly a century at this writing.
Species Comment: One of the largest spiders in NA, it is commonly encountered n houses, where, its large leg span has generated many hyperbolic tales of people finding a spider "the size of a dinner plate!".
Identification
Online Description/Photos: Often confused with lycosid--or "wolf"--spiders, pisaurid posterior eyes are arranged in a recurved row, and their legs are typically proportionally much longer. BugGuide, Google Images, WikipediaTechnical Description: The Nearctic Species of the Genus Dolomedes (Araneae: Pisauridae)
Comments: Dark brown to black and gray with a dark "face mask" bearing a central light spot above the clypeus. Usually 3 "W" shaped marks dorsally on the posterior of the abdomen.
Total Length: Female 17-24mm, males 13-16. Its long legs can create a leg span of 10cm.Adult ID: identifiable by photo
Distribution in North Carolina
Comments: Nova Scotia west to Manitoba; S. to TX and E. to the FL panhandle. Widespread in NC.
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Adult phenology:
 High Mountains (HM) ‚Č• 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

Click on graph to enlarge
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: forest near streams; on tree trunks, rocks; often found in houses (seemingly especially in sinks and bathtubs, which act as pitfall traps for them).
Observation Methods:
Abundance/Frequency:
Prey: Small fishes, tadpoles, aquatic insects, misc. other small insects as may be found.
Behavior: A diurnal fishing spider, D. tenebrosus often hunts minnows, tadpoles,and aquatic insects with its forelegs on the surface of water and its hind legs on a solid substrate. It often spends the night on tree trucks, where its markings provide excellent camouflage, and it also wanders far afield from water, prey on what it can find.

Egg sacs are carried beneath the females' bodies, until hatch. The mother than binds some leaves together as a shelter where the spiderlings can be protected until her death.
Status in North Carolina
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Photo Gallery for Dolomedes tenebrosus - Dark fishing spider

Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
New Hanover Co.
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Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Matt Luks
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Pat Momich
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Pat Momich
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Owen McConnell
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: Owen McConnell
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Surry Co.
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Recorded by: Jane Wyche
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: Jane Wyche
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: B. McRae
Macon Co.
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Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Henderson Co.
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Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
McDowell Co.
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Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Rutherford Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: J. Anderson
Ashe Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof
Beaufort Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof
Beaufort Co.
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Recorded by: K. Sanford
Camden Co.
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Recorded by: K. Sanford
Camden Co.
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Recorded by: J. McIntyre
Chatham Co.
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Recorded by: J. Wyche
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: J. Wyche
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: J. Wyche
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: j.wyche
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: j.wyche
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: j. wyche
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: j.wyche
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: j.wyche
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: j.wyche
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: j.wyche
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: j.wyche
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: j.wyche
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: j.wyche
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: j.wyche
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: j.wyche
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: j.wyche
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: j.wyche
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: j.wyche
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: j.wyche
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: j.wyche
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: Jane Wyche
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: j.wyche
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: Jane Wyche
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: Jane Wyche
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: Jane Wyche
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: j.wyche
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: j.wyche
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: j.wyche
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: j.wyche
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: j.wyche
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: j.wyche
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: j.wyche
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: J. Wyche
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: j. wyche
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: j.wyche
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: F. Williams, S. Williams
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: J. Wyche
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: J. Wyche
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: T. Nergart, T. Vass.
Rockingham Co.
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Recorded by: K. Long
Rockingham Co.
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Recorded by: G. Allegretti
Rutherford Co.
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Recorded by: T. Nergart
Transylvania Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof
Transylvania Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof
Transylvania Co.
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Recorded by: J.Williams
Vance Co.
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Recorded by: J.Williams
Vance Co.
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Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Chatham Co.
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Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Robeson Co.
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Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Halifax Co.
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Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Stokes Co.
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Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Stokes Co.
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Recorded by: Bo Sullivan
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Warren Co.
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Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
New Hanover Co.
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Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Burke Co.
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Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Bertie Co.
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Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Stanly Co.
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Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Rockingham Co.
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Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Robeson Co.
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Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
New Hanover Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: E. Corey
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall
Beaufort Co.
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