Fishing Spider vs Wolf Spider- Which Is The Better Hunter?

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There are many different types of spiders, all of which have their own hunting techniques. The fishing spider vs wolf spider are two common spiders that are often compared against each other. Both of these spiders are fierce hunters, but which one is the better hunter?

The Main Differences Between Fishing Spider vs Wolf Spider

There are certain key differences between fishing spiders and wolf spiders. The first is that they have different colors—wolf spiders are typically dark brown or black, while fishing spiders can be light brown, green, or gray.

Fishing Spider vs Wolf Spider

Another difference is that fishing spiders have longer legs- their legs must be able to walk on water without sinking. Wolf spiders have shorter legs in comparison.

Additionally, wolf spiders have eight eyes in two horizontal rows with four eyes in each row, while fishing spiders have eight eyes in three rows, with two eyes, then two larger eyes, then four small eyes. Finally, the wolf spider’s eyes are very large compared to other spider species.

Let us look at the various distinctions between these two species of spiders.

Fishing Spider vs Wolf Spider: Size

Fishing spiders are typically smaller than wolf spiders. They generally vary in size from less than an inch to about two inches. Wolf spiders, on the other hand, can be quite large.

Some have been known to grow up to three inches long. This size difference can have a big impact on how each spider hunts its prey.

wolf spider

Fishing spiders have long legs because they need to walk on water, and their eyes are very large, so they can see better underwater.

Wolf spiders, on the other hand, have shorter legs but are faster runners. They also have excellent vision and can see in the dark.

Fishing Spider vs Wolf Spider: Life Cycle

Fishing spiders typically live near moist areas, while wolf spiders can be found in almost any terrestrial habitat. Wolf spiders are better hunters and have a more complex life cycle than fishing spiders.

The species of fishing spiders are aquatic spiders that live near the water and hunt by swimming after prey.

On the other hand, wolf spiders are terrestrial spiders that run over the ground or on plants in search of prey. They differ from fishing spiders in that they do not swim but rather chase down prey on foot.

Fishing spider mothers do not have any young offspring by themselves but instead carry their young along with them when they forage for food.

Whereas wolf spider mothers carry their large egg sacs around with them. This is because the fishing spider’s eggs are more delicate and will not survive if they are not constantly being hydrated, while the wolf spider’s eggs can survive without being hydrated as long as they are kept at a cool temperature.

Fishing Spider vs Wolf Spider: Location

Fishing spiders may be found around bodies of water such as streams and ponds. Their long, slender legs, which are well-suited for swimming, differentiate them from wolf spiders. Wolf spiders, on the other hand, prefer to live in drier conditions.

Their lengthy legs allow them to reach into the water and capture prey. Wolf spiders are most often spotted in dark crevices like tree hollows or near the entrance to insect tunnels, where they may readily feast on the insects that reside there.

Fishing Spider vs Wolf Spider: Hunting Methods

Fishing spiders, as their name suggests, hunt by fishing. They use their long legs to sense prey in the water and then jump on it to catch it; furthermore, they ambush prey by waiting for it to come close before attacking.

In fact, the hunting method used by the fishing spiders is called “ambush fishing.” This means they wait for their prey to come close before attacking.

Wolf spider

Wolf spiders, on the other hand, are hunters that rely primarily on their eyesight. They chase down their prey until they catch it. They use their speed and agility to capture prey. They can run quickly and jump long distances to catch their prey.

In all, they both have different hunting methods and are found in different climates. Fishing spiders are more common in warmer climates, while wolf spiders are found in colder climates.

Fishing Spider vs Wolf Spider: Colors

Fishing spiders are typically brown and gray with banded leg patterns. They can be easily distinguished from wolf spiders by their long, thin legs, which are good for swimming.

Wolf spiders are generally light brown, dark brown, gray, or tan. They may have additional patterns on their body and legs. Some wolf spiders even have stripes on their abdomens.

Fishing Spider vs Wolf Spider: Leg Length

Fishing spiders have long legs that are specially adapted to walk on water. They use surface tension to hold onto the surface of the water, allowing them to move quickly and hunt prey.

Wolf spiders do not have this adaptation and cannot walk on water. Rather, they have short, stocky, and powerful legs that help them run down their prey. Their legs are also covered in hair which helps them grip their prey.

Fishing Spider vs Wolf Spider: Eyes

Fishing spiders tend to have eight eyes spread across two rows, four on top and four on the bottom. This gives them an advantage over wolf spiders when it comes to hunting, as they can see in all directions at once.

Whereas the eyes of a wolf spider are very important as they play a major role in hunting. The wolf spiders also have eight eyes, but they are arranged in a different manner, four on the front and four on the back.

The two large eyes are used to identify prey from a distance, while the smaller eyes help with movement and detecting prey when it is close.

Which is a better hunter: Fishing Spider vs. Wolf Spider?

Wolf spiders are considered better hunters than fishing spiders. They are able to move faster and cover more ground in their search for prey. Fishing spiders, on the other hand, rely more heavily on their web to trap prey.

In fact, they both have their own advantages when it comes to hunting. Wolf spiders typically stay outdoors and hunt insects, while fishing spiders are more likely to move indoors and hunt in dark areas.

This makes fishing spiders better suited for hunting prey that is hidden or hard to see.

How to manage the wolf spiders and fishing spiders

Wolf spiders and fishing spiders are two of the most common types of spiders in North America. They are both beneficial predators that help to keep the populations of other pests in check, but they can also be a nuisance when they invade homes.

Wolf spiders are generally larger than fishing spiders, and they hunt their prey by chasing it down. Fishing spiders are smaller and typically wait for their prey to come to them.

Both species are non-poisonous, though as with all spiders, bites may cause reactions in certain individuals.

In most cases, the presence of either spider inside a building is accidental and occurs during the fall season. However, if you have concerns about these arachnids or want to remove them from your premises, there are some steps you can take to manage them.

In terms of how to deal with wolf spiders and fishing spiders, there are a couple of different methods.

If the spider can be successfully trapped in a large jar, it can be taken back outside and released. Otherwise, the only necessary control is to swat or spray them with a household aerosol and discard them.

Are fishing spiders aggressive to humans?

No, fishing spiders are not aggressive to humans. In fact, they are quite timid and will usually run away when they encounter people.

Fishing Spider floating on water

However, female fishing spiders can be quite aggressive towards their male counterparts before, during, and after mating. And thus, if agitated can bite people too. So if you see a fishing spider, be sure to give it plenty of space!

Do all wolf spiders have markings?

Wolf spiders are a popular species of spider that can be found all over the world. They vary in size, ranging from 1/2 inch to 2 inches long. They are typically hairy and range in color from brown to gray, with various markings or lines.

Is fishing spider poisonous?

The fishing spider is not considered poisonous. They are, however, venomous and can cause a great deal of pain if they bite you.


In conclusion, fishing spiders are beneficial because they eat pests like mosquitoes, and wolf spiders are harmful because they can bite humans. Fishing spiders are not as common as wolf spiders, so it is important to be able to identify them in order to protect your family and pets.

If you see a spider that you are not sure about, please do not hesitate to contact your local pest control company.


Do fish eat fishing spiders?

The researchers looked across all continents, with the exception of Antarctica, and identified 90 instances of fish being eaten by fish spiders. Spiders belonging to the other genus like Dolomedes, such as the Australian water spider, are the most common predators of fish in freshwater environments. These spiders tend to congregate near the shorelines of lakes, ponds, and streams that are rather shallow.

Will a fishing spider bite you?

Fishing spiders are very timid creatures that would often flee away from people at the first sign of activity. The effects of a bite are often less than those of a bee or wasp sting. Certain persons who are hypersensitive to the venom of spiders are an exception to this rule.

Are fishing spiders beneficial?

In spite of the fact that fishing spiders give off an unsettling appearance, they are really helpful allies in areas with bodies of water as they keep in check the pests of the area. Additionally, if they did decide to bite, the pain would be comparable to that of a bee sting, but it wouldn’t be anything serious.

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.