Ever wondered if spiders can actually swim in water? This is definitely a fascinating question to think of.
These arachnids which are present in everyone’s house are actually great swimmers!
I am pretty sure you didn’t know this earlier.
The next time you think of drowning a spider, think twice.
If you need ways of repelling spiders, we have already written a plethora of articles on the same. So, kindly have a look through those.
Can Spiders Swim?
Yes, spiders can definitely swim as already mentioned above.
But, we also need to take into consideration the fact that not all spiders are excellent swimmers.
Some spiders like diving bell spiders can swim but most others try to crawl or run across the water that we throw at them.
On a much simpler note, if we hit a spider with some water droplets, we need not worry that it would drown the arachnid.
How Can Some Species of Spiders Swim Well Than Other Species?
Spiders have certain characteristic features that allow them to swim in the water. Some of them are as follows –
- Spiders can kick their legs well just like us, humans. They kick all of their eight legs which helps them to stay afloat on water.
- How well a spider can swim also depends tremendously on its species.
- Some species like the Diving Spiders can scoot around atop water with minimal effort.
- On the other hand, Tarantula or Northern Tree Funnel-Web spiders are very clumsy at swimming and they require a huge effort.
- The Spiders know well how to distribute their body weight evenly and this helps them to stay afloat.
- The Spiders also know to thrust their body downwards or if they need to dive in.
- Just like not, all human beings are not the best swimmers, some species of spiders are adept at the game better than others.
Spider Species that Swim
|Spider Species||Common Name||Swimming Behavior||Habitat|
|Dolomedes spp.||Fishing Spiders||They build a web under the water’s surface and swim to capture prey or mate.||Ponds, streams, and wetlands.|
|Argyroneta aquatica||Diving Bell Spiders||They can swim underwater by creating an air bubble to breathe from.||Ponds, lakes, and slow-moving streams.|
|Desis spp.||Water Spider||They build a web under the water surface and swim to capture prey or mate.||Streams and ponds.|
|Pisaurina spp.||Nursery Web Spiders||They can swim to escape predators or find food.||Streams and ponds.|
Can Spiders breathe underwater?
Most spiders cannot breathe underwater as they do not have gills or lungs designed to extract oxygen from water. However, some spider species, such as the diving bell spider, have developed unique adaptations that allow them to breathe while submerged.
Diving bell spiders, for example, create a bubble of air that they hold around their body using specialized hairs on their legs and abdomen. This bubble of air serves as a diving bell and allows the spider to breathe while hunting underwater. The diving bell spider is able to replenish the air supply in its bubble by returning to the surface periodically or by trapping air bubbles from the surface and bringing them down with them.
Can Spiders Drown?
As we have already discussed above, some species of spiders are better at swimming than others.
Those species of spiders that are not good swimmers will face a harder time keeping themselves from drowning.
But, it will take some time for them to get drowned.
This is because spiders have a lower metabolic rate. Hence, those species which are not good at swimming can live for an hour without oxygen.
If you need to kill a spider, drowning it might not be the best option.
You can repel it using affordable items which we have mentioned in some of our previous articles.
Which Spider stays Longest underwater?
There have been observations of Trechalea extensa spending extended periods of time underwater.
In a study published in the Journal of Arachnology, researchers observed a female Trechalea extensa spending approximately 30 minutes underwater in a stream in the rainforest of Costa Rica. The spider was seen walking along the stream bed and using its legs to cling to submerged rocks and vegetation, while air bubbles adhered to its body.
Can Spiders walk on water?
Yes, some spider species are able to walk on water! This ability is achieved through a combination of physical adaptations, such as hydrophobic hairs on their legs and a high surface area to volume ratio, as well as behavioral strategies like rapid leg movement and careful weight distribution.
One well-known example of a spider that can walk on water is the fishing spider, which belongs to the family Pisauridae. Fishing spiders are able to stand on the surface of water thanks to the hydrophobic hairs on their legs, which repel water and prevent the spider from sinking. They also use their long legs to distribute their weight evenly and move quickly across the water by alternately tapping their legs on the surface of the water.
Another spider that can walk on water is the long-legged water spider (genus Argyroneta), which is able to live and hunt entirely underwater. These spiders construct underwater webs that are filled with air, allowing them to breathe while they hunt for prey. The legs of the long-legged water spider are also covered in hydrophobic hairs, which enable the spider to walk along the surface of the water and access its web.
When we were first addressing this question, we never would have guessed that the answer would be so trickier.
We have discussed that not all species of spiders are adept at swimming but almost all of them do not drown instantly.
Diving Spiders enjoy semi-aquatic life and in fact, they may bypass certain fishes in swimming matches!
Hope our article helped you to learn something new today!