Several spiders eat fish, including Dolomedes Triton, Pardosa peudoannulata, Dolomedes plantarius, and several others.
They will dangle their toes in the water to simulate fish food on the surface of water. When the fish nibble the spider’s foot, the spider pounces. Here is some remarkable footage of this in action:
Spiders that eat fish are capable of swimming or walking on the water. They also have a potent venom which they will use to paralyze the fish. First, they will ambush the fish and then inject the venom to paralyze it, before dragging the fish onto land and then eating it.
Currently, there are five spider species known to eat and catch fish in the wild, and three have been shown to eat fish in laboratory conditions. Fish-eating spiders can catch fish more than twice their size.
List of Spiders that Eat Fish
Many spider species that lurk around lakes, ponds, and the sea are capable of swimming. Some can even walk on water, which allows them to ambush the spider and attack it.
Let’s take a look at which spider species eat fish and how do they do it.
1. Six-spotted Fishing Spider (Dolomedes Triton)
Spiders that belong to the Dolomedes Triton family are known for eating fish. This spider is also known as the six-spotted fishing spider. The name of the spider conveys its ability to catch fish.
This spider species can dive below the water surface and drag fish out of the water. They can survive underwater for up to four hours, so diving underwater is also a powerful technique that allows them to escape predators.
It can also walk on the water’s surface. To do that, it will use the power of the wind to propel itself from one place to another on the water.
To catch fish from the water, the six-spotted fishing spider will place its hind legs on a leaf or another surface near the water surface, while also placing its front legs on the water surface. This will allow the spider to be prepared to ambush the unsuspecting fish as it swims by.
Once it strikes, it will try to wrestle the fish and inject the venom to paralyze it. After that, the spider will bring the fish out of the water to consume it.
The Dolomedes Triton can catch fish that are twice its size, or sometimes even larger. Though it still prefers to catch small fish, which makes it easy for them to drag the fish out of the water.
2. Raft Spider (Dolomedes fimbriatus)
The Dolomedes fimbriatus, or the raft spider, is the European cousin of the Dolomedes triton.
This species is also known for its water-walking abilities and its tendency to hunt smaller fish. You’ll find this spider all over Europe, and it is quite common near stationary waters like lakes, ponds, and smaller streams.
The spider will lurk near or on the water surface to find insects and smaller fish. It will ambush the fish by placing its legs on the water, which allows it to strike quickly as the fish is still unprepared.
The raft spider is one of the most common fish-hunting spider species in Europe. The adult fish of this species will reach between 15 to 22 millimeters in size, making them smaller than the fish it catches.
3. Pond Wolf Spiders (Pardosa Peudoannulata)
The Pardosa peudoannulata is a spider that belongs to the group of spiders called wolf spiders. In essence, this spider is known for its ambushing abilities. The majority of wolf spiders are ground-based, but pond wolf spiders like to spend most of their time near waters and ponds.
Like other wolf spiders, the pond wolf spider will use ambushing to strike its prey. It will hunt fish species, although this spider might go through prolonged periods of hunger. When that happens, this spider will engage in sexual cannibalism where a female spider would eat a male spider after mating.
The pond wolf spider is found in most countries in East Asia, including China, India, Korea, and Japan. It will often populate rice fields where it might have to hunt smaller fish that live in these areas.
4. Great Raft Spiders (Dolomedes plantarius)
The great raft spider, also known as the Fen Raft spider, has two distinctive white lines coming along the sides of its body. It’s a semi-aquatic species as it likes to spending large amounts of time in the water.
When it needs to escape from its predators, this species will hide in the water. It can stay underwater for prolonged periods, which gives it an advantage over its predators.
It will also hunt fish and other insects that lurk in the waters where this fish lives. To hunt fish, the great raft spider will stay on vegetation near on water. After it senses vibrations in the water, it will use its front legs to attack whatever is lurking in the water. It will prefer to catch smaller fish.
The great raft spider is common in the UK, but it is very rare. Because of that, this spider species is a protected species in the country.
5. Diving Bell Spider (Argyroneta aquatica)
The diving bell spider is one of the only spider species known to live completely underwater. This spider will spend most of its time underwater, where it will be able to hunt smaller fish and other animals in the water.
You will find this spider in the freshwater habitats of Europe and Asia. When it needs to replenish its oxygen levels, the spider will come on the surface to do so.
The spider will create diving bell webs, which will be used to hunt and digest animals that the spider catches. These are open-bottomed, bell-shaped webs that are used for different purposes – they are used underwater to catch animals of prey, for mating, and for laying eggs.
This spider has one of the most unique ways of hunting its prey with the use of the diving bell webs.
RELATED SPIDER DIET FACTS:
Many spider species hunt fish. Many of them are good swimmers, while others can walk on water. They will mostly hunt smaller fish, although the fish are still often much larger than the spider itself. They rely on their ability to run over water to catch their prey.