The spiders of the genus Dolomedes, of which a few species live also in Italy, are among the few organisms that acquired the unusual ability to slide on the surface of still waters. This is not floating, but the ability to exploit the surface tension of fluids, almost as if the surface was an elastic "floor" on which they move skating. To do this, they distribute their weight, already very light, on a wide water-repellent area of their legs. Despite the apparent instability of their foothold, these spiders, as well as skating insects, are capable of rapid sprints, moving with precision to grab their prey or escape threats.


  • Title: Fishing spider
  • Rights: Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia Photo by Barbara Favaretto - MSNVE
  • Scientific name: Dolomedes sp.
  • Origin: Italy, Veneto
  • Date: 2010

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