and Spiders do Mix!
by Martin Overton
Most of us are
aware of a few spiders that live in or under
water, for those of you not yet acquainted with
these spiders this article can be a quick
introduction to these fascinating creatures. But,
the fun doesn't stop there.... read on, dear
friend, surprises await!
When most of us think of
water-spiders, we tend to think of the 'Water
Spider (Argyroneta aquatica)' known for it's
diving bell of air and it's appetite for fish,
tadpoles and other unfortunate pond life that
gets within its reach.
This is a unique spider that
lives underwater. A grey-brown spider with a
hairy abdomen that it uses to trap air with, to
add to it diving bell beneath the surface of the
water. This spider eats, sleeps mates and raises
a family in this little home in the water.
Let's look at a few other spiders
that also seem to be fond of water ....
This is a beautiful spider, dark brown with a
pair of cream/white lines running along the edges
of its carapace and abdomen. This spider is also
known as the Raft or Swamp spider, but it doesn't
build a raft, but detects the movement of it's
prey by resting its front legs on the surface of
the water. It catches small fish and drags them
up on to the bank to devour them at its leisure.
Pirate Spider (Pirata
With a name like this you would expect it to sail
the seven seas and cause havoc! This is a
semi-aquatic species which spends a good deal of
time under the water. (Obviously a submarine
This spider looks very much like
a wolf or other hunting spider but it builds a
tube to live in which goes beneath the surface of
the water, where it hides if disturbed.
Then there is the most mysterious
semi-marine spider (Desis)
that inhabits rock pools on tropical shores. It
is said that this spider can survive for days
under the sea, without an air-bubble and no
diving bell to retreat to. Scientists are baffled
how it achieves this remarkable feat, and also
how it remains unaffected by the salt without any
You may be surprised to find that
many tarantulas are good swimmers, indeed a
number of rainforest species seem to be very at
home in the water. They use their hairy legs to
support themselves and propel themselves at a
respectable speed across the surface until they
can make landfall once more.
So now you know why you find
Tegenaria sp. in the bath, they want to have a