I think it's a dolomedes - fishing spider. Normally though I see them and they are darker in colour.
Close. It is a Fishing Spider, but not Dolomedes. This is Pisaurina mira, in the same family (Pisauridae). This particular one is the ‘subinflata’ colour form that is less common than the normal colouring that does not have the black and the brown wavy pattern on the abdomen is darker and more distinct than in this form.
Thanks Calum, I didn’t know the color forms had names. Is the term Nursery Web Spider no longer the most appropriate for this species? I read your discussion about it with another spider and now I’m confused about what to say when I identify them.
I came across the name in James Carico’s review of Pisaurina in the journal Psyche, but he does not cite where it comes from. The article does have nice illustrations of the variability of color patterns in Pisaurina mira. See: https://www.hindawi.com/journals/psyche/1972/059858/abs/
I think Nursery Web Spider is still a good name and P. mira is often found in a variety of habitats and does not ssem to be as closely tied to water as many of the Dolomedes species.
https://bugguide.net/node/view/2919 Thanks! Bugguide has photo illustrations of Carico’s different marking variations of P. mira
Thanks TangledWeb. What I am finding curious is that in the last 10 days or so, there have been a few images of P. mira posted from various locations with the ‘subinflata’ or ‘centerline’ pattern. I’m wondering if it is a color pattern that shows up more frequently at a specific time of year, or perhaps at a specific point in the breeding cycle.
I noticed it too. They seemed to be more northern, I think. It has been unusually cold and many plants and animals are behind schedule in development. I was hiking in the White Mountains in late May and there was deep snow and ice. The seasoned hiking guides of the Appalachian Mountain Club said they have no record (going back about 150 years) of snowpack so late in the season. I wonder if temperature affects markings pattern development. Happy Summer Solstice!
There has been a lot of diversity in Pisaurina mira markings overall. We just had on with almost no markings. Another trend is that genus Leucauge is showing up in the Northeast US where we don’t have previous sightings. We just had some in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Hampshire. I’ve seen a lot of Leucauge spiderlings this spring in NH. We had a mild winter and wet spring. Perhaps the major wind patterns are carrying hatchlings farther north.