Australian Giant Water Spider

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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.

Photographed in situ / after pursuit [1-3]

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