Skip to main content

In Photos: Fish-Eating Spiders Around the World

Fish-Eating Spiders Are Everywhere

(Image credit: Craig Harrison, Hertford, UK; Nyffeler, et al. PLoS ONE 9(6): e99459. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0099459)

A scientific review found that fish-eating spiders lurk near ponds, swamps and rivers on every continent except Antarctica. In this image, an adult fishing spider, likely of the species Ancylometes rufus, lifts a small catfish out of the water in a marshy area of Ecuador's Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve.

Clever Fishing Spider

(Image credit: Peter Liley, Moffat Beach, Queensland; Nyffeler, et al. PLoS ONE 9(6): e99459. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0099459)

This clever fishing spider (Dolomedes facetus), which can run on water, was caught with a pond fish (of the genus Xiphophorus) in its maw in garden near Brisbane, Australia.

Six-Spotted Fishing Spider

(Image credit: Machele White, Lady Lake, Florida; Nyffeler, et al. PLoS ONE 9(6): e99459. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0099459)

A six-spotted fishing spider (Dolomedes triton) was photographed feeding on what's likely mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki) in a garden pond near Lady Lake, Florida.

Giant Swamp Fishing Spider

(Image credit: Misti Little, Stagecoach, Texas; Nyffeler, et al. PLoS ONE 9(6): e99459. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0099459)

A giant swamp fishing spider (Dolomedes okefinokensis) chows down on a mosquitofish in a swamp in Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida.

Six-Spotted Fishing Spider

(Image credit: Patrick Randall, Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Nyffeler, et al. PLoS ONE 9(6): e99459. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0099459)

Another six-spotted fishing spider devouring a fish on edge of small, slow-moving stream near Fayetteville, North Carolina.

South American Fishing Spider

(Image credit: Ed Germain, Sydney, Australia; Nyffeler, et al. PLoS ONE 9(6): e99459. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0099459)

An adult male of the Ancylometes genus (possibly Ancylometes rufus) caught a tiny ray-finned fish near Samona Lodge, Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve, Ecuador.

Wandering Spider

(Image credit: Alfredo Dosantos Santillan c/o Amazonia Expeditions, Tampa; Nyffeler, et al. PLoS ONE 9(6): e99459. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0099459)

A wandering or ctenid spider (of the Ancylometes genus) eats a characiform fish in the Tahuayo River area in Peru.

Fish Dinner

(Image credit: Juan Esteban Arias A., Cali, Colombia; Nyffeler, et al. PLoS ONE 9(6): e99459. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0099459)

A fishing spider (of the Trechalea genus) pulls its meal onto stone at the edge of shallow stream near Quebrada Valencia in Colombia.

Waterside Meal

(Image credit: Jacques Jangoux, Belem, Brazil; Nyffeler, et al. PLoS ONE 9(6): e99459. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0099459)

Fishing spiders, like this one, also take their meals on the banks of Rio Maicuru in the Brazilian state of Pará.