Researchers have uncovered how a species of air-breathing spider can spend its totality life under water, only venturing to the surface periodically to replenish its waiting supply.

You are watching: How long can a spider hold its breath

The "diving bell spider" or "water spider" (Argyroneta aquatica) is the only spider the lives completely under water. That breathes air, which it traps in a dome-shaped internet suspended between aquatic plants. It"s this balloon that provides the diving bell spider that name.

Until now, scientists have actually not known exactly how long the spiders can remain under water and also how they usage their air balloon to breathe.

Professor roger Seymour (School of planet & eco-friendly Sciences, college of and also Dr Stefan Hetz (Institute for Biology, Humboldt University) have now to be able to measure the oxygen level in the spider"s waiting bubble and observe that behaviour.

They discovered that the "diving bell" behaves like a gill, extract oxygen native the water. The spiders only must dash come the surface as soon as a day to supplement your air supply, and can remain under water for more than 24 hours.

"Previous research study had suggested the spiders had to come to the surface ar as regularly as every 20-40 minutes throughout the day. Instead, we uncovered that the spiders might sit quiet for lengthy periods of time, continuing to use their diving bells to extract oxygen even from the most stagnant water top top a hot day," Professor Seymour said.

"Being may be to remain still for so lengthy - without having actually to go to the surface ar to renew the air bubble - protects the spiders native predators and additionally keeps them covert from potential food that come near."

Found in northern and central Europe and northern Asia, the diving bell spider is one "iconic animal", Professor Seymour said.

"Each spider constructs a net of silk in vegetation beneath the surface and also fills it v air carried down top top its abdomen and rear legs. The spiders invest their entire lives submerged and also even lay your eggs in your diving bells. They are fascinating creatures but unfortunately castle are ending up being increasingly rarely in Europe."

Professor Seymour and also Dr Hetz have published your findings in The newspaper of experimental Biology.

Story through David Ellis


A diving bell spider. Researcher have uncovered that the air bubble behaves prefer a gill, extract oxygen native the water.

See more: H2So4 + Naoh Net Ionic Equation, H2So4 Naoh Net Ionic Recipes

Photo by Dr Stefan HetzFull picture (143.37K)

Media Contact:

For more news top top the research and civicpride-kusatsu.netcational achievements of the college & our alumni review the University"s bi-annual magazine,Lumen.