an unexpected breakfast guest

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve had a few fleeting glimpses of a large spider lurking in our living room, occasionally appearing among a stack of books and art supplies. I could never get a good enough look to be sure of what she might be. A few days ago, she finally made a somewhat bold appearance on the kitchen counter while I was making breakfast. I suspect that she wasn’t finding much to eat in the rest of the house and perhaps thought she might do better in the kitchen. I snapped a few photos of her and got out the measuring tape to get some idea of her size. Although she seems a little on the small side, I believe she’s a Dark Fishing Spider (Dolomedes tenebrosus). Perhaps she’s a juvenile, which might explain her smallish size. After the impromptu photo shoot, I captured her in a bottle and released her outdoors where the hunting prospects would, undoubtedly, be much better.

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10 Responses to “an unexpected breakfast guest”

  1. Mark P Says:

    Nice find. My wife finds it a little hard to understand why I catch indoor spiders and release them outside.

  2. Wren Says:

    You get the best photos! I’d like to find some of the really big spiders around our house. I miss them.

  3. Sarah Says:

    Wow, beautiful!!! The way her legs are shaped is pretty interesting. Hope she got a good breakfast after you released her. =D

  4. Cate (kerrdelune) Says:

    Bev, your breakfast counter guest is a beauty, and it makes me happy to think that you captured her in a bottle and took her outdoors. I’ve gotten into the habit of keeping a glass tumbler and a piece of cardboard close by for such rescues, and some of the family think I am “nuts”.

  5. DjBrown Says:

    Amazing photo! I once stepped barefoot on a spider like this in the middle of the night, then I scampered off to get a little cup to rescue and save it. Hubby thought I was nuts, but it pleases me to know her children are guarding my garden.

  6. Laiku Oh Says:

    I have a little fear of arachnids, but I’m glad that I still have the mental capacity to enjoy the slender beauty of the spider. I wonder why, though, it is called a “fishing” spider?

  7. Wayne Says:

    Mark – your wife obviously wishes you to leave the spider indoors, where it will consume and control all the other critters!

    Bev – it always thrills me to find one of these fishing spiders. They’re really magnificent beasts and your capture of its face and beautifully patterned legs is great.

    Just by coincidence we had one prowling the kitchen earlier in the season, too high up on the wall to conveniently approach and too big to capture without breaking legs. I’m not sure where it eventually went. Still around, somewhere, I suppose.

  8. John Says:

    My wife sometimes wonders why I take spiders outside when she might prefer that I put them out of her misery (she is quite unhappy to have them around). Thanks for the comment about Steve’s story. I’ve updated it to reflect what really happened to him…the ants did use his favorite to send him on his way: Partida Elegante Extra AƱejo Tequila.

  9. bev Says:

    Mark – I believe your wife isn’t alone in wondering why someone would capture a spider to release it outdoors. Fortunately, I think “rescuers” are on the increase.

    Wren – Thanks! Most of the spiders I find indoors are not quite so spectacular.

    Sarah – Thanks! I’m hoping she was able to find a good meal too. I know she was in our house for at least 2 weeks and doubt she got much to eat during that time.

    Cate – Don and I are both “rescuers” so it seems a natural thing to do.

    Dj – I once had a Fishing Spider climb onto my face and sit on my eye lid when I was a teenager. It did give me a bit of a start, but fortunately, I’ve always been pretty calm around spiders!

    Laiku – Fishing Spiders often hunt along the water’s edge and capture aquatic insects and even small minnows, so they actually do “fish”.

    Wayne – I always love having an opportunity to photograph these large, beautiful spiders. They are one of the only spiders that don’t require getting in really close with the camera in order to get a nice shot.

    John – Glad to be able to comment on your fine story!

  10. robin andrea Says:

    What a beautiful house guest, bev. I would be delighted to have one in my kitchen too. I also always capture spiders and put them outside. I keep a large canning jar and an old postcard around just for those very special occasions.