The Amazing Fishing Spiders (Dolomedes sp.) are Greater than Jesus

Fishing spiders are more amazing than the so-called “amazing” Spider-Man. Fishing spiders really exist and have persevered for millions of years, while Spider-Man is a fictional character created by Steve Ditko in 1962.  Fishing spiders are greater than Jesus Christ because there is proof they can walk on water whereas there is little evidence the semi-fictional legend even existed.  The story of Jesus walking on water was invented by the unknown author of Mark, the oldest New Testament gospel, and it was plagiarized by the unknown authors of Matthew and John.  Their stories were so ridiculous they were too ashamed to attach their real names to them. Instead, they forged other people’s names to their scrolls, hoping to avoid ridicule.  Jesus could not walk on water.  The laws of physics as we understand them in the present day demonstrate he would sink.  But fishing spiders use hairs on their legs to stride on the surface tension of water, a feat I’m sure Jesus could not actually accomplish in real life.

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The striped fishing spider (Dolomedes scriptus) is large, growing up to 3 inches long.

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Fishing spider with dinner.

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Fishing spiders walk on water…like Jesus Christ allegedly could do.

Fishing spiders mostly hunt aquatic insects on top of the water, but they can also dive underwater to seize minnows, tadpoles, frogs, and crayfish.  They carry an air bubble with them attached to the hairs on their body when they dive underwater.  Their venomous fangs quickly deliver a mortal bite to their prey and the buoyant air bubble carries them back to the surface.  Fishing spiders are able to sense their prey the same way web-spinning spiders do.  Spiders detect vibrations made by insects captured in their web; fishing spiders feel vibrations made by prey moving through water.  Fishing spiders don’t need webbing to sense prey because water serves as their web.

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An Okefenokee fishing spider (D. okeefenokensis) with a crayfish.  I wonder how they get past the claws. They also prey on small frogs.

There are 9 species of fishing spiders native to North America in the Dolomedes genus.  8 of them are aquatic–the lone exception lives in trees.  The Okefenokee fishing spider lives in south Georgia and Florida but there are several species that occur as far north as southern Canada.  Striped fishing spiders were able to expand their range north following the end of the last Ice Age.  It would be interesting to know how long it took for this dispersal to take place.  It would also be interesting to know the evolutionary relationship between the 9 species and other closely related spiders.  It’s likely they evolved from terrestrial ancestors.  Alas, as far as I can determine, scientists have not yet studied Dolomedes genetics.

 

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