Date Presented

Spring 5-15-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Kari Benson

Second Advisor

Prof. Siobhan Byrns

Third Advisor

Dr. Price Blair


Cryptic coloration and background matching are highly effective for some riparian spiders’ camouflage against detection by the human eye. Fishing spiders (genus Dolomedes, family Pisauridae), which are known to be cryptids, present anecdotal evidence of substrate specialization which suggest that these species may be adapted to specific microhabitats in riparian zones. Some of the semi-aquatic species of fishing spider utilize similar coloration to their riparian habitat and microhabitat choice has been previously documented. These characteristics increase effectiveness of their crypsis and could be explained by microhabitat specialization between two species. This project addresses which colors these spiders use, and explores possible applications for camouflage colors to conceal military operations in riparian zones. Using a principle component analysis on 1976 CIE L*a*b* data, from photographs, we attempt to describe differences in crypsis between two species of fishing spider, Dolomedes scriptus and Dolomedes vittatus, which overlap in distribution in riparian zones. Exploring microhabitat adaptation in Dolomedes crypsis furthers our understanding of how these species utilize their habitat via microhabitat choice. The analysis of photographs using L*a*b* data showed that there were not detectable differences in color or lightness between D. scriptus and D. vittatus. This research uncovered that fishing spiders should be treated as grayscale items and that further research is necessary to understand their mechanisms of crypsis.

Included in

Entomology Commons