Scientific name: Dolomedes fimbriatus
The chocolate-brown Raft spider inhabits bogs and ponds. It can be spotted sitting near the water, its legs touching the surface. When it feels the vibrations of potential prey, it rushes out to catch it, floating like a raft.
StatisticsBody length: 0.9-2.0cm
When to seeMay to August
AboutThe Raft spider is a large, chunky spider that lives around the edge of ponds and ditches, and on wet heaths and bogs. Adults sit at the edge of the water, or on floating vegetation, with their front legs resting on the water's surface in order to feel for the vibrations of potential prey. Using the surface tension of the water, they chase out on to the water to catch their prey, which will even include tadpoles or small fish. Raft Spiders will also swim underwater, often diving beneath the surface when threatened.
How to identifyThe Raft spider is a large, chocolate-brown spider, with a pale yellow stripe running down each side of its body.
In our area
One of the best places to see raft spiders in Shropshire is on Wem Moss nature reserve; they are often seen on areas of open water throughout the summer.