Has this eight legged creepy crawler mistaken itself for a fish? The underwater lifestyle has earned the Water Spider its "Diving Bell" title. Found in fresh water ponds in Europe and Asia, this spider is the only arachnid species to spend its entire life underwater! Even crazier – it doesn't have gills. How does it breathe, you ask? Rather than going up for air every few seconds, It spins itself a silken "scuba suit"!
By crafting a bell to encase its body, it is able to spend most of its life inside the bubble. The only time it leaves the bubble is to catch prey or refill air. The female spiders usually make a bigger bell to fit their eggs or prey, whereas the males make a smaller bell just for themselves.
The spider has an interesting way of getting into its air sack and refilling it with fresh oxygen. While lying on its back on the surface of the water, it crosses its last pair of eight legs and traps air bubbles between them and the hair on its belly. It does this repeatedly until the sack is full. This spider is mostly still and therefore doesn't need much oxygen to survive. When it does need to refill, it does something amazing – it creates a "physical gill" that acts in a similar way to an "anatomical gill" that fish have! This helps draw in oxygen from the water into the bubble.
Scientists say that these spiders are becoming more rare. This is partly due to loss of habitat and the fact that aquatic researches are always seeking them out to study them!
Check out the video below to see the Water Spider in action!