|Female with juvenile spiders|
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.
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.
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.
- Arnqvist, G. (1992). "Courtship behavior and sexual cannibalism in the semi-aquatic fishing spider, Dolomedes fimbriatus (Clerck)(Araneae: Pisauridae)" (PDF). Journal of Arachnology: 222–226.
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