Australian giant water spider (Megadolomedes australianus)

Aquatic spiders such as Megadolomedes australianus are covered in hydrophobic hairs, allowing them to sit on top of and move along the water’s surface. In Peru, I found my first Pisaurid in a stream, and when I approached the spider, it hopped along the water’s surface to safety with a fast jellyfish-like motion. I have not observed that behavior again in any aquatic spiders. Megadolomedes can attain a legspan of more than 18 cm, but this individual had a legspan of around 13 to 15 cm. Since it was raining tonight and due to some camera malfunctions (unrelated to the rain), I didn’t get a variety of shots of this spider, but next time I will get a shot for scale and maybe some footage.

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