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The Diving Bell Spider

Diving Bell Spider
Diving Bell Spider
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The Diving Bell Spider is the only spider that has been discovered that lives their entire lives under water. The official name of this species is Argyroneta Aquatica and is found in northern and central Europe as well as northern Asia. In order for this spider to survive it traps air in a bubble to breathe. This bubble is a specialized web help by the hairs located on their abdomen and legs. Even though the diving bell spider spends most of its time underwater, like other spiders it needs air to survive, thus the special sack it makes, which acts like a lung for the spider. The spider very rarely needs to surface for air because as the spider uses oxygen from its air sack, the sack is then replenished by oxygen being pushed into the sack from the water equalizing the oxygen pressure inside of the air sack. This makes it necessary for the spider to surface only once a day to completely replenish the oxygen levels in their diving bell.

The sack gives the Diving Bell Spider a silver appearance which is where its name Argyroneta comes from which is the Greek word Argyros for silver, and the word Neta which means spin thus the spider is known as the "spinner of silver". The true color of the spider is cool velvet grey.

Another unusual fact about this interesting little spider is that the males are larger than the females which is very unusual in the spider family. One reason for this is that they have longer front legs that they use for diving. The diving also requires more strength than the females need. Another reason for the size difference is the females have larger air bells than the males for mating purposes. For mating the male will build a diving bell next to the females, after this is completed he constructs a tunnel from his bell and breaks into her bell in order to mate. The female will lay eggs inside her bell. She can lay anywhere from 30 to 70 eggs at a time. The larger bell takes more energy for upkeep which is another reason the females are smaller than the males.

The Diving Bell Spider survives on aquatic insects and crustaceans. Frogs and fish are natural enemies and the spiders. It is possible for humans to be bitten by these unusual spiders because they have fangs that are capable of puncturing the skin. These bites are very painful and the area will become inflamed and feverish.