Spiders Can Hide Underwater for 30 Minutes, Says New Study

Many creatures share the desire to hide and disappear, and some take “fading-away” to new heights.

According to academics at Binghamton University, State University of New York, a tropical spider species utilizes an “air film” to conceal itself underwater from predators for up to 30 minutes.

Spiders can hide underwater


(Photo : DAMIEN MEYER/AFP via Getty Images)

Lindsey Swierk, an assistant research professor of biological sciences at Binghamton University in New York, spotted a huge tropical spider (Trechalea extensa) escaping from people and sheltering underwater.

This species had not before been reported to use water to escape.

Swierk had previously discovered a Costa Rican lizard species that could conceal from predators by staying submerged for 16 minutes.

Thr scientist claimed that for many animals, becoming wet and cold is almost as dangerous as dealing with predators in the first place.

Trechalea spiders were not previously known to hide underwater from dangers, and especially not for such an extended period of time.

However, it has been discovered that the spider can submerge for around 30 minutes.

It maintained a “film” of air over its whole body when underwater.

“Whenever the spider is submerged, the film of air surrounding it appeared to be maintained in place by hydrophobic hairs enveloping the spider’s whole body surface,” Swierk explained.

“It’s so complete that the spider nearly looks like it’s been dipped in silver,” as per ScienceDaily.

“Because these spiders breathe air, the layer of air may function to keep the respiratory apertures away from water. The air coating may also serve to reduce heat loss to the chilly stream water in which the spider submerges itself.”

Swierk believes that this discovery sheds fresh light on how animals deal with the difficulty of seeking shelter underwater.

Also Read: Carnivorous Garden Spiders Are Actually Omnivores, Researchers Find

Spiders’ other means of hiding

Cryptic coloring, or camouflage as it is commonly known, is an important trait that has a significant impact on animals, as per LSA.

It affects their ability to live and reproduce. Camouflage is a surprising common characteristic shared by many species.

It has been observed in a wide range of species, from minute stick beetles to enormous zebra herds. Camouflage allows them to sneak up on prey and hide from predators.

When we say an animal is camouflaged, we usually mean that it has color patterns that resemble where it lives or another more hazardous species.

Some creatures do this by being created with certain color patterns that fit a backdrop, while others may modify their appearance to match their surroundings.

Determining how these spiders change colors adds to our understanding of this species of spider, about which little is known despite its extensive range.

Additionally, it discusses how spiders conceal in general. The more broad applicability of this discovery is how it relates to our knowledge of camouflage development.

Camouflage evolution is intriguing, and examining how it develops in different species might provide scientists with hints as to why it exists in just specific species.

Furthermore, it will aid our knowledge of when it may occur, or what would lead to a species employing camouflage.

Related article: Spiders Can Fly Thousands Of Miles By Harnessing Earth’s Electric Fields, Research Finds

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