Diving bell spiders are meat-eating spiders that live underwater in the protection of small bubbles they create around their abdomen by trapping air with the silk spinning.
The species in question, Argyroneta aquatic, is found in bodies of freshwater throughout Europe and Asia.
The spider hunts small insects that fall into the water or are looking for prey on the surface of the water. The question most people as is how long can a spider live underwater?
The diving bell spider can live underwater between 6-8 hrs. These spiders spend most of their time submerged underwater but must regularly replenish the air supply in their diving bells to avoid drowning.
They make about one trip per day to the surface for air, spending only a few minutes each time before taking up their position inside the bell once more where they are protected from predators and low oxygen levels.
The diving spider is not the only breed of spiders that can survive underwater for hours. The Wolf spider, for example, can also stay submerged for long periods of time.
How long can a wolf spider live underwater?
Wolf spiders slip into brief periods of semiaquatic life when it suits them. Salt-dwelling wolf spiders can switch their metabolism from aerobic to anaerobic.
Anaerobic metabolism takes place when there is no oxygen available to the wolf spider and its body processes rely on other chemicals – like glycolysis, which produces energy without using oxygen.
In general, a Wolf spider can stay underwater for 6-40 hours when its metabolism is switched from aerobic to anaerobic state. They can certainly go longer than 6-40 hours before resurfacing for air, but usually, only stay submerged long enough to survive from either their predators or to catch their prey.
The Argyroneta Aquatica is the only spider that lives underwater permanently. The spiders work together to build large “bells”, which are supported by their efforts so they can breathe underwater. After about an hour and a half, the spiders must return to the surface for air.
When you read about spiders surviving underwater for as long as 6-8 hrs, you can’t help but wonder if flushing a spider kills it?
Flushing a spider in a toilet will kill it instantly. The toilet flushes between 7.5-9.5 liters of water into a sewerage waterway system. The velocity toilet flush water leaves no room for a spider to survive.
Can you kill a spider by flushing it down the toilet?
Flushing a spider down the toilet is as good as killing it. Spiders breathe through their skin, so when they are flushed down the toilet, water fills their respiratory system and they die from suffocation.
How long can a spider stay underwater without drowning?
Spiders don’t drown because they have exceptional physiology that allows them to absorb oxygen through their body walls and spiracles.
A spider’s body has the ability to go into gas exchange suspension for up to 24 hours during which there is no intake of oxygen or loss of carbon dioxide, but its heart continues to beat.
why do spiders curl up in water
Sometimes spiders that are in an anaerobic state curl up in water and may look like they are playing dead. When a spider is curled up, it is actually in its anaerobic state and will remain this way for as long as the oxygen levels around them are low.
The oxygen depletion surrounding the spider forces it into hibernation or forced rest within their own anaerobic environment. There is no scientific proof that they play dead when they curl up, but it is believed to be a myth.
What spiders can live underwater without drowning?
Spiders that live underwater and survive for long periods of time include: diving bell spider, water spider and wolf spider. These spiders have special adaptations which allow them to spend most of their life underwater.
Some species of spiders take up semi-aquatic life, which means they will live under water for a period of time. Others can breathe underwater and stay submerged for as long as necessary to catch their prey – like diving bell spiders and water spiders.
Spiders that breath underwater but do not stay submerged long enough to drown:
Saltmarsh spider – it relies on the high salt levels in the water for its breathing.
Nursery web spider – the spider’s ability to remain underwater for long periods of time enables it to catch tadpoles, snails and small fish. Sometimes these spiders are temporarily submerged when heavy rainfalls.
Cave diving bell spider – they usually live in the water trapped inside the cave with an air bubble that acts as a diving bell. They need the air bubble to breathe and will die without it, but can stay underwater for hours until the bubble is disturbed or they resurface to take a fresh one.
Wolf spider – Wolf spiders can dive into water for approximately six minutes and occasionally come out of the water to capture prey. These spiders take refuge in submerged vegetation if the water level rises.
Asian spider – it has adapted to tidal conditions and uses trapped air bubbles.
When a spider enters the water, how long can it survive??
Some spiders will drown if they are submerged under the water for too long, but others stay underwater until their predators or prey come to them. There are also spiders that live underwater and spend most of their life hunting in the water, while others live on
When spiders enter the water, they are forced to hold their breath. This is because spiders do not have an exchange system like other aquatic creatures. Air does not pass through the spider’s body – instead, it sucks it through its spiracles (holes in its sides).
A spider relies on trapping air bubbles around its body to breathe while submerged. Spiders can stay underwater for a few minutes, but if they remain submerged for too long, they drown.
There are spiders that live underwater and spend most of their life hunting in the water while others live on top of the surface tension instead of beneath it. Some dive to depths where there is no light and very little oxygen, so they use special adaptations for this.
Some spiders living underwater will venture out on the surface to snatch insects that fall in or rest on the water, while others are capable of breathing air trapped underwater.
A spider needs an oxygen supply when it dives below the surface of water – if not, it can drown within minutes. Some species have a bubble of air around their abdomen or hold onto a branch with its back legs and let the rest of its body dangle in the water.
Others dive below to hunt underwater, where they can stay submerged for hours, but will come up if their oxygen supply runs out.
Spiders don’t drown because they breathe air, but they can still drown in water if they are submerged for too long. Some species of spiders stay underwater until their predators or prey come to them while others live on top of the surface tension instead of beneath it.