The crazy life of the Giant Fishing Spider


The Genus Ancylometes comprises some of the most interesting spiders in the world.
Their unique way of life, similar to that of the European fishing spiders of the genus Dolomedes, gives them a sort of place of honour among Arthropods. To fish they gently touch the water surface and wait for a fish or a water Arthropod passing by. Then, they suddenly sink into the water and catch the prey with their powerful and venomous fangs.

But this is not the main curiosity of this odd Genus. Their uniqueness lays in their bizarre breeding behaviour.
When a male finds a wandering female, he approaches her gently trembling and waving the front pair of legs. Once near the female the male jumps over her and begin to wrap her legs with the web, in a ritual known as “bridal bondage”. While doing it the male rapidly mates with the partner and runs away before she could clean off the web and try to catch and eat him.

After a successful mating the female deposes about 300-400 eggs in a eggsac, which she coats with a waxy substance, to avoid too much humidity and fungus proliferation.
To keep this waterproof cocoon at the right humidity the mother often plugs it into water. At hatching the very tiny spiderlings will congregate on a nursery web built by their mother. After the first moult they’ll disperse among vegetation to begin a solitary life.