Raft spider

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Raft spider
Dolomedes fimbriatus.jpg
Female with juvenile spiders
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Family: Pisauridae
Genus: Dolomedes
Species: D. fimbriatus
Binomial name
Dolomedes fimbriatus
(Clerck, 1757)

Araneus fimbriatus: original combination

The raft spider, also known as the Jesus Spider, Dolomedes fimbriatus, is a European spider of the family Pisauridae. The raft spider is one of the two largest spiders in the United Kingdom, and derives its name from its ability to walk on water.

Like other Dolomedes spiders it hunts by running on the surface of water, and can submerge altogether to hide from predators.

It was described in chapter 5 of the book Svenska Spindlar by the Swedish arachnologist and entomologist Carl Alexander Clerck. It is the type species of its genus.

The female's body measures up to 22 millimetres (0.87 in) long with a leg span of about 70 mm (2.8 in); as with most spiders the male is considerably smaller.

Dolomedes fimbriatus

Raft spiders are semi-aquatic and live around acidic bogs and in wet acidic grassland, especially where there are small pools of water. They are dark chocolate brown in colour (or sometimes greenish) with a conspicuous white or cream stripe along each side. The closely related great raft spider (Dolomedes plantarius) is similar in size, habits and appearance, but lives in fens.

Female raft spider carrying her egg sack


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