Photo by Bob Thomas
Most naturalists know the pisaurid fishing spiders of the genus Dolomedes. Ancylometes are a larger type of fishing spider, and is now in the family Ctenidae. These specimens were found in a temporary pond in the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, Stann Creek District, Belize. This species has not been officially reported from Belize. These two were about the same size. Both were undoubtedly on the prowl, but the one at the bottom is clearly in a “fishing” posture, awaiting something to swim by or fall into the water so it can pounce.
This genus is one of only two that are capable of placing webs beneath the water. They may catch their prey underwater, but come to the surface or land to consume it. They also hunt above water as shown in the lower photo.
They can go underwater by breathing air that is captured in their hairy bristles.