Bug of the Week ~ The Diving Bell Spider

The diving bell spider is the only species of spider in the world that spends its entire life underwater.  The spider uses a “diving bell” or bubble of water that actually acts like a lung! You won’t find these arachnids anywhere in the Las Vegas valley. Found in ponds in Europe and Asia, these small spiders have adapted to hunt for insects and crustaceans under the surface, living safe from land-dwelling predators though they aren’t safe from frogs and fish.

Using silk to form a “bell”, the air-breathing spiders trap air in hairs on their abdomen and legs at the surface of the water and fill the bell with the trapped air. They can then live inside the bell, and in fact females live almost their entire lives inside the bell only coming out to snatch prey or to refill their air supply.