Scooped again!

I have to do this just to harass the Importunate Mr Bugg, who was with me on the outing this morning and often brags that he’s going to post something first.

We (well, I) spotted a fishing spider, genus Dolomedes, on a rock and went in for the closeup, but noticed in the bright light that it had a bizarre patch of web that it sat across. Fishers don’t make webs except for their egg sac, and that may only be some species, so it seemed odd:

fishing spider Dolomedes on rock at water's edge
I could see that it had something else in there, probably prey that it was working on, so I went back to shore to affix the macro rig and do a bit more controlled lighting, rather than working with natural bright sunlight as above. And it made a distinct difference, not just in the apparent light direction, but in the details as well:

fishing spider Dolomedes with dragonfly prey
Ah, that’s it! What we took to be webbing was actually the wings of a dragonfly that was being consumed by the spider, seen at an odd angle. And since it was a big dragonfly, you get an impression of how big the spider was, too. Far from the largest I’ve seen, but not something you want to find in the bathtub, you know?

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