What spider is this??

Asked July 8, 2020, 11:19 AM EDT

Hi! I just found this spider in my laundry room in West Bloomfield. But it might have come back with us yesterday from Indian River Michigan. It's on a pair of size 10 girls pajama pants for size reference. Thanks!


1 Response


That is a Dark Fishing Spider, Dolomedes tenebrosus (Araneae: Pisauridae).

Fishing spiders are normally found along the banks of rivers, streams, lakes, wetlands and ponds. They feed primarily on aquatic insects but they will eat tadpoles and small fish if they can catch them. D. tenebrosus is also at home in woodlands and is commonly found in and around structures that are located some distance from water. Fishing spiders are for the most part harmless. They are not known to be aggressive, but any spider will attempt to bite in self-defense if handled roughly. Fishing spiders are usually a shock to people who are unfamiliar with them because of their large size. Some have mistaken them for an escaped pet tarantula or other exotic spiders. Others are concerned that they might be the brown recluse spider, which is very rarely found in Michigan.

Fishing spiders usually enter the structures near ground level and are normally encountered in basements, crawlspaces, and breezeways. These spiders occur in very low numbers, and usually homeowners encounter only one or two of them. Chemical control is not necessary unless large numbers are found.