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

Family Pisauridae - Nursery Web Spiders

Big Spider at back door with beetle - Dolomedes tenebrosus large hairy spider eating a dragon fly - Dolomedes tenebrosus Fishing Spider - Dolomedes Small spider with prey, probably a harvestman - Dolomedes tenebrosus Agelenid spider - Pisaurina mira - female Six-spotted fishing spider? - Dolomedes triton Juvenile Dolomedes tenebrosus - Dolomedes Possible Fishing Spider - Dolomedes tenebrosus
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Chelicerata (Chelicerates)
Class Arachnida (Arachnids)
Order Araneae (Spiders)
Infraorder Araneomorphae (True Spiders)
No Taxon (Entelegynae)
Family Pisauridae (Nursery Web Spiders)
Other Common Names
Fishing spiders
Explanation of Names
Named after palearctic genus Pisaura. That genus is likely named after the Pisaurus River (now the Foglia), or Pesaro region of Italy (Wikipedia: Marche region, Pesaro).
Often large spiders, similar to wolf spiders (Lycosidae). Note the following:
typically rest with legs flattened on substrate
carry their egg sacs by means of their jaws and pedipalps (instead of attaching them to their spinnerets)
all eight eyes are approximately the same size, as opposed to wolf spiders (Lycosidae), where two eyes are more prominent

Arrangement of eyes in Dolomedes and Pisaurina:
Life Cycle
Females carry the egg sacs using their chelicerae until the eggs are ready to hatch.

When the eggs are ready to hatch, the egg sac is placed within a "nursery web" built on some foliage, and the mother stands guard.
Spiders of the Eastern US by Howell and Jenkins states that Pisauridae contains three genera and thirteen species. We found those thirteen species in the World Spider Catalog and made guide pages for all those that were missing.
See Also
Wolf Spiders, Lycosidae
Print References
Howell and Jenkins (1)
Internet References
Wikipedia: Nursery web spider
Species list here
Works Cited
1.Spiders of the Eastern US, A Photographic Guide
W. Mike Howell and Ronald L. Jenkins. 2004. pearson education.