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Species Dolomedes scriptus

Dolomedes tenebrosus - Dolomedes scriptus Large male Dolomedes? - Dolomedes scriptus - male Large scriptus or tenebrosus? - Dolomedes scriptus - female Male D. scriptus? - Dolomedes scriptus - male Fishing Spider - Dolomedes scriptus Fishing Spider- Dolomedes scriptus - Dolomedes scriptus - male Fishing Spider? - Dolomedes scriptus Striped Fishing Spider (Dolomedes scriptus)? - Dolomedes scriptus
Classification
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)
Genus Dolomedes (Fishing Spiders)
No Taxon (fimbriatus group)
Species scriptus (Dolomedes scriptus)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Explanation of Names
Dolomedes scriptus Hentz, 1845
Scriptus is Latin for "written". Usually indicates markings that look like writing. Probably referring to the "W" shaped marks on the abdomen.
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.
(Brett Tyler, 31Dec2008)

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



Dolomedes scriptus


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




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

Range
Dolomedes scriptus is widely distributed in eastern North America, but only rarely found in the Gulf Coast region.
Habitat
Most often found at fast flowing streams.
Food
Insects and small fish.
Print References
Carico, J. E., 1973. The Nearctic species of the genus Dolomedes (Araneae: Pisauridae). Bulletin Museum of Comparative Zoology Harvard 144: 435-488. (Species Description Here)
Hentz, N. M. (1845). Descriptions and figures of the araneides of the United States. Boston Journal of Natural History 5(2): 189-202, pl. 16-17. (Original Description)
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.