Water spider

Water spider

It may sound surprising but there are some species of spiders that live in water. Of course they don’t have gills but have an evolved way for breathing. Water spider spins a web on the surface of the water and gathers air bubbles to pack up from below. This allows the spider to pop up beneath the web and breathe when required. It is possible for water spiders to stay in the water for around an hour.
Water spider can also walk on water as hair on its leg tips lets it move over water without violating the tension on the surface. This spider is an excellent swimmer and can catch aquatic prey with its poisonous jaws. The water spider typically returns to its web or retreat to eat the prey.

Description of Water Spider

Water spider is about 8 to 15mm in length and dark brown in colour. Water spiders are typically seen in north and central Europe and have a lifespan of around two years. They have eight thin and long legs with plenty of tiny body hair. Outstanding stripes and speckled green pattern is also seen on the body sometimes they have.
This small spider is not very distinctive when on land but can be seen well under water. Small hair covers its abdomen which aids the spider to trap air bubbles. The spider gets a silvery sheen and it looks like mercury swimming in the water.

Habitat and Diet of Water Spider

Water spider can be seen in ponds, streams and lakes, floating on leaves and sticks. They hunt on the surface of the water or even below at times. Tadpoles, insects and small fish are their favourite food.

Water Spider Reproduction

Male water spider is typically bigger compared to the female and prior to mating, he builds a diving bell close to the female’s diving bell. A tunnel is made by the male to enter the female bell. Mating is done in the retreat where the female constructs a special egg chamber for laying her eggs. She lays around 30 to 70 eggs and stays in the chamber to protect her eggs.

Water Spider Bite

If disturbed water spider can be very aggressive and is known to have a painful bite. Most types of water spider are poisonous and dangerous. Symptoms include feverishness, swelling and pain.

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