Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Species Dolomedes scriptus

Dolomedes scriptus? - Dolomedes scriptus - male Fishing Spider - Dolomedes scriptus Another possible Scriptus... - Dolomedes scriptus Large scriptus or tenebrosus? - Dolomedes scriptus - female Large scriptus or tenebrosus? - Dolomedes scriptus - female Spider large black and gold by water  - Dolomedes scriptus - female Fishing Spider - Dolomedes scriptus Fishing Spider?? - Dolomedes scriptus
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Chelicerata (Chelicerates)
Class Arachnida (Arachnids)
Order Araneae (Spiders)
Infraorder Araneomorphae (True Spiders)
No Taxon (Entelegynes )
Family Pisauridae (Nursery Web Spiders)
Genus Dolomedes (Fishing Spiders)
Species scriptus (Dolomedes scriptus)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Explanation of Names
Latin: "written". Usually indicates markings that look like writing.
Identification
Distinguishing Dolomedes vittatus from Dolomedes scriptus males can be rather tricky at times, so here's a couple physical characteristics that I use to tell the two apart:

1.) Generally, the abdominal markings of adult male D. scriptus have a more "sculptured" appearance, whereas D. vittatus have less-pronounced markings.
2.) The two dark-colored spots in the middle of the cephalothorax are almost always more robust in D. vittatus than the more narrow ones found on D. scriptus.

Here are some images from the Guide that might help clarify some of this:

Dolomedes vittatus


Dolomedes scriptus


Hope that helped a little...Brett Tyler, 31 December, 2008

The main difference between scriptus and tenebrosus is that the 'W' pattern on scriptus is outlined in white all the way across the abdomen. The pattern in tenebrosus is broken.. and it generally has less white. It also appears that scriptus has a fuller and more complete median carapace stripe.

Dolomedes scriptus


Dolomedes tenebrosus


Additionally Dolomedes tenebrosus features an inverted "v shaped" black mark beginning at the AME extending to the edge of the clypeus enclosing a light spot on the anteromedial margin compared to Dolomedes scriptus which is dark only around each eye with a homogenous medium gray clypeus(1):

Dolomedes scriptus

Dolomedes tenebrosus
Range
Dolomedes scriptus is widely distributed in eastern North America.
Print References
The Neartic Species of the Genus Dolomedes (Araneae: Pisauridae)(1)
Works Cited
1.The Neartic Species of the Genus Dolomedes (Araneae: Pisauridae)
James Edwin Carico. 1973. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, Vol. 144, No. 7 Cambridge, Mass., March 13.