One of the largest true spiders of South America, it has attractively marked patterns especially the male. The average size of adults is 4 to 5 inches but females have been known to reach 6 inches. This fishing spider is much larger than our British species and is a very interesting spider to study. It can hunt and capture insects, small fish, tadpoles, frogs and newts above and under the water. To escape predators they can dive underwater and stay there for over an hour. They like to rest with there legs touching the waters edge any ripples or vibrations felt on the surface of the water will send the spider skating across the top of the water in chase its prey. It can run very fast and as I have discovered when filming it can even jump. A close relation to the wolf spider also has good eyesight. If feeling threatened it can dive under the water and stay there for over an hour as it is covered in numerous short bent hair which traps a thin layer of air which gives it a silvery look underwater. Scientists have even copied this from this species of spider to develop a fabric, which remains dry underwater.
The adult fishing spiders are safe to handle and very docile, but handle with slow movements because they will move slowly or they will run with fast bursts of speed and some jumping. Andy Newman© 18/07/10.