Can Spiders Live Underwater?

Spiders are air breathing organisms. They are members of the phylum Arthropoda. Spiders live in a variety of habitats. Their ability to live underwater depends on their species and their environment.

Many spiders are clumsy swimmers. In some cases, they can survive a few hours underwater without oxygen. However, if they are not comfortable swimming, they can still drown.

A spider’s ability to swim depends on the species and size of the insect. Some species are very strong swimmers while others are not. The strength of an individual spider’s limbs and its weight distribution will also affect its ability to swim.

Some spiders build air-filled diving bells. They have specialized silky webs that trap air. When the silk web collapses, the spider must then travel to the surface to replenish its air supply.

Diving bell spiders are an iconic animal. These spiders have been found in a wide variety of waters throughout the world. One such species is the argyroneta aquatica, commonly known as the silver net spider. This species can spend up to two years in the water.

Researchers from Humboldt University placed these spiders in tanks with partial pressures of oxygen akin to those in a stagnant pond. Using optical fibres containing oxygen-sensitive dye, they measured the concentration of oxygen in the surrounding water.

They discovered that the partial pressures of oxygen in the diving bell varied depending on the type of water the spiders were in. Those in hypoxic waters spent more time maintaining their bells than those in more oxygenated water.