Fen raft spider (Dolomedes plantarius)

Fen raft spider Dolomedes plantarius © Rob Jones

This is the UK's largest spider and one of the rarest. This striking spider reaches up to 23mm and has a white/cream/yellow stripe along the side of the body. They are semi-aquatic, favouring areas along the water’s edge with stiff emergent plants that are used to spin nursery webs that hold the young. They are so big that they can catch and eat stickleback fish.

They are found at only 3 sites in the UK, the Tennant Canal being the most recently found. The best way to see them is to visit the canal in the summer looking for the spiders amongst emergent vegetation.

Only spot = Tennant Canal

See The Fen Raft Spider Web Site for more information.