Watch This Spider Hunt (and EAT!) Underwater By Making Its Own Oxygen Tank

Closeup of diving bell spider drifting on the water lettuce plant from arum family. Water spider resting on the water cabbage, nile cabbage, shellflower, pistia leave or pistia stratiotes leaves in the water
© iStock.com/Lingkon Serao

Written by Sarah Psaradelis

Updated: October 23, 2023

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Many people understandably assume that spiders can only be found on land, but did you know that spiders can also be found underwater and live there? It is fascinating to see the diverse habitats that spiders can be found in, including aquatic habitats. This is true for the fully aquatic diving bell spider (Argyroneta aquatica) from Northern and Central Europe.

Check Out The Entire Video Below!

Although it may be difficult to believe, the diving bell spider in this video is the only species of spider that lives entirely underwater. The surreal video shows a brown diving bell spider catching its prey underwater without coming up to eat it on land. The spider roams across aquatic vegetation under calm waters carrying a visible air bubble on its abdomen for oxygen and carries the insect larvae back to its nest, which is made from a silky web.

This incredible spider can be seen “swimming” to the surface of the water to replenish its air bubble by sticking the top of its abdomen out while its body remains underwater. If that isn’t strange enough, you may be surprised to know that the spider then goes on to deposit part of the air bubble back into its nest without it popping!

An Aquatic Spider

The diving bell spider breathes underwater through an air bubble that is seen around its abdomen, much like an oxygen tank in a way. Diving bell spiders may be aquatic, but they breathe air, and they sort of appear to be eight-legged scuba divers.

How the diving bell spider lives underwater have fascinated many and how the dome-shaped air bubble stays on its abdomen underwater. Well, the air bubble contains both nitrogen and oxygen and the spider will breathe in the oxygen, which increases the nitrogen, and they will eventually need to resurface. Once the spider replenishes their oxygen to avoid drowning, they can actively hunt their prey and return back to their nest where they store more oxygen tanks in between plants and their intricate underwater webs.


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About the Author

Sarah is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering aquatic pets, rodents, arachnids, and reptiles. Sarah has over 3 years of experience in writing and researching various animal topics. She is currently working towards furthering her studies in the animal field. A resident of South Africa, Sarah enjoys writing alongside her pets and almost always has her rats perched on her shoulders.

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