The Find-a-Spider Guide

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Water spider

Fact Box
Dolomedes facetus
(ID by Dr. R. Raven, Qld. Mus.)
Body length:
female: 21 mm
male: at least 10 mm
On the surface of still-water ponds; this spider has the ability to run on water surfaces and to form underwater retreats in large air bubbles, although some pisaurids make their webs in green leaves or small twigs of shrubs and may never have occasion to 'walk on water'
The toxicity of the venom of this species is unknown but may cause mild illness in humans
Dolomedes facetus
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Eye pattern
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With an egg sac
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Another specimen
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Immature male
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Underneath female
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Immature female
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Leafy habitat
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On water

Spider(s) with a very similar appearance: Some cycloctenid species and wolf spiders such as Lycosa godeffroyi, although it is noteworthy that water spiders lack the pair of large eyes that characterise lycosids.

Email Ron Atkinson for more information.    Last updated 17 February 2013.