Wildlife Photography | Along Came A Spider


Little Miss Muffet

Sat on a tuffet

Eating her curds and whey

Along came a spider

Who sat down beside her

And frightened Miss Muffet Away

Dark Fishing Spider in Upstate NY

Dark Fishing Spider | click to enlarge

I didn’t scare away like Miss Muffet, but she did catch me off guard. I stepped outside the door and there she was perched, lurking in the top corner of the door jam. I knocked her down out of there and when she hit the ground it was the big, loud thud sound you’d think was only found in movies like Arachnophobia.


I figured I would try and give her due justice and photograph her before squishing her. You know, tell her story before letting the girl in me want her not to exist anymore in my world. I think she enjoyed her photo shoot because she posed and sat just fine as I got all up in her face with my macro lens.


Dark Fishing Spider in Central NY

Dark Fishing Spider | click to enlarge, I dare you


Fishing spiders belong to the group commonly known as nursery web spiders (Pisauridae). She carries her egg sacs in her jaws and when the eggs get ready to hatch she builds a nursery web where the spiderlings hatch. She then perches near by the nursery to to guard and defend it. Most of the species of Dolomedes are semi-aquatic and get that “fishing spider” name from catching and preying upon small fish. They don’t build webs to catch prey, they are the kind of spider that wanders about in pursuit of their next meal. You might think they are a super-sized wolf spider, but the way to tell them apart from the wolves is in the eyes. Nursery web spiders have two rows of four eyes, all relatively the same size. Wolf spiders have 3 rows, with two of the eyes much larger than the rest.


So after all was said and done with our impromptu photo shoot I tried to kill her. I did not succeed. She pulled one of those quick-trick, “Imma jump at you!” moves and got the better of me as she scurried out of sight and reach. She lives to lurk another day.

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