Our Neighborhood's Biodiversity Map

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Europe
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Shared by : Bharat Adhikari (Nepal)
Habitat : Throughout Russia and Europe
Status : Vulnerable (VU)
Introduction
It is also known as fen raft spider. It occurs mainly in neutral to alkaline, unpolluted water of fens and grazing marsh. D. plantarius is a large species within its range. Adult females can have bodies of slightly over 20mm in length with a span of 70mm including their legs. It is typically black or brown in colouration with white or cream stripes along the sides of the body. It is very similar in appearance to the closely related raft spider Dolomedes fimbriatus with which it is often misidentified.
Great raft spiders are predatory and hunt from perches at the water’s edge. They primarily feed on aquatic invertebrates such as pond skaters, dragonfly larvae, small fish and smaller aquatic spiders. They will also feed on drowning terrestrial invertebrates and have been known to catch small vertebrates such as sticklebacks and tadpoles.
Water is essential to the whole life cycle of the great raft spider. The spiders will live for two and a half years. As juveniles they will hibernate over the winter and will mature into adults during their final spring.
Habitat
Semi-aquatic and inhabits lowland fen and grazing marsh areas.
Threats
Habitat loss and degradation.

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