Fishing spider picture attracting attention on Facebook

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) -- A spider picture posted on social media is gaining a lot of attention.
 
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has confirmed sightings of fishing spiders.
 
Facebook users shared this picture from the DNR's page more than 4,000 times as of around 5:30 p.m. Thursday.
 
“It's one I've never seen before. It looked to be pretty scary,” said Chris Estebo, Tomah.

“Never seen anything like it. Wow,” said Bob Miles, La Crosse.
 
Fishing spiders are native to Wisconsin.
 
Forest health specialist Todd Lanigan with the Wisconsin DNR saID he knows of two confirmed sightings in the state, one in northwestern Wisconsin and one in the northeastern part of the state.
 
“There's different species. Some species pretty much stick right around the water's edge to hut, others actually move inland and hunt and then kind of go back towards the water,” said Lanigan.
 
They can also catch small fish and tadpoles.
 
Lanigan said the body of a fishing spider is five eighths of an inch to an inch.
 
Its leg span is two to three and a half inches.
 
“I'd be interested in seeing one. I'm not really scared of spiders,” said Estebo.
 
“It wouldn't bother me any as long as it didn't bite me,” said Miles.
 
So far there haven't been any confirmed sightings in the la crosse or eau claire areas.
 
We sent Lanigan some spider pictures from a home in Eau Claire.
 
He said it could be a dark fishing spider.
 
It hunts inland and can be found in and around homes and buildings.
 
If you seen a fishing spider, Lanigan said they aren't really a threat.
 
“If you you leave them alone. They're going to leave you alone,” said Lanigan.


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