The Swamp Thing

Swamp Spider
Yesterday, I encountered the biggest spider I’ve ever seeen in Ireland (outside of the zoo). I’ve come across a few very large house and garden spiders over the years, but in those cases, the size usually related to leg length. The torso of this specimen was at least 30mm. The spider pictured above is a Swamp spider (aka Raft Spider/ Dolomedes fimbriatus). It hunts on water, usually by leaving its legs in the water to detect the vibrations of insects. This one was near a water channel, but seemed to be just resting. It didn’t show much concern as I approached it to take the photo, and made no attempt to take cover. It’s good to be the king.