Surname: Water spider
Other names: Silver Spider
Latin name: Argyroneta aquatica
size: 0.8 - 1.5 cm
Appearance: dark yellow to brownish
Sexual dimorphism: Yes
Nutrition type: Insectivore (insectivore)
food: Aquatic insects, including flea crabs, water lice and water mites
distribution: Europe, Asia
original origin: unknown
Sleep-wake rhythm: diurnal
habitat: prefers shallow waters (lakes and moors) and riparian regions
natural enemies: Predatory fish
sexual maturity: unknown
mating season: unknown
oviposition: 50 - 100 eggs
Threatened with extinction: Yes (Status: high risk)
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.
Interesting about the water spider
- The water spider or Argyroneta aquatica describes a spider species that is one of the mountain spiders. It is the world's only exclusively water-living representative of this order.
- The water spider is native to northern and central Europe and much of East Asia to Japan. There it inhabits stagnant waters such as lakes, moors and ponds, which have a high plant growth and a good water quality and lead the year round water. Occasionally, she also settles in garden ponds.
- Thanks to its highly branched trachea and dense two-ply fur, which consists of feathered hair, it is perfectly adapted to their underwater life.
- The water spider is between eight and fifteen millimeters long, with the males being significantly larger than the females. This is unusual for weaving spiders, as females are usually larger than males.
- Male water spiders are beige to yellowish in color and have dark red legs. The females, on the other hand, are dark brown in color.
- Both sexes have black, only a few millimeters long and very pointed poison claws, which are able to penetrate into the human skin.
- The bite of a water spider is unpleasant for humans, but not dangerous. The pain can be compared to that after a wasp sting. It is rare for children or people with a history of weakness to have allergic reactions that require medical treatment.
- Since water spiders almost never come into contact with humans because of their way of life, bites are extremely rare.
- Water spiders lay under water several bell-shaped, attached between the water plants nets.
- To fill them with air, the water spider has to move from time to time to the surface. The air adheres to her abdomen and can be recognized as a silvery glossy bubble.
- Under water, water spiders move on their back swimming.
- Each of the underwater bells fulfills a different function. Thus, the water spider lays on residential bells where it stays and mates in the summer. Nutritional bells are used for the storage and consumption of prey.
- In the cold season, the water spider holds winter staring in a wintering bell.
- In the female dormitory the mating takes place in the summer. The males are not eaten by the females, but remain after their mating for some time in their company.
- The females lay about a hundred eggs in their egg-bell, which they then guard and supply with air. The young spiders remain in the care of their mother for a few more weeks after hatching.
- Water spiders are predators that feed on various aquatic insects, larvae and small crabs. They serve various aquatic beetles and woodlice as a source of food.