Silver spider and all the fun about it


Living in the aquatic environment. Most arachnids live on land, the same species is an exception. Body length from 1.2 to 1.5 cm, 8 legs, abdomen, cephalothorax, two pairs of jaws and 8 eyes - this is what a silverfish spider looks like. The description is very similar to other spiders, but there is something special in it - this is a huge amount of hairs on the abdomen, smeared with a waterproof substance, they help the silverfish to breathe under water, as they keep the air.

Water spider does not require conservation measures. It is good that they are informed to prevent. Poison or predator, the villainous spiders of Marwell's comic book mentioned. Unfortunately, Chile was no exception due to its vast habitat, native here in South America, adapted to amazing objects in urban settings around the world.

Its name comes from the corners in which it is usually installed, entrenched behind a characteristic network of fuzzy and mantle forms that fall from the edge of the walls, from the top. If he had always been there, in his lair, the problem would have been less, but the spider has a tendency to go hunting at night and move around the house, especially during the hot months. He prefers dark places that little see the vacuum cleaner or broom. This is where misfortunes happen when someone sets foot on it or touches it by chance, as we shall see.

Most silverfish are found in Europe in fresh, stagnant waters with grassy vegetation. The spider lives under water and builds a house there. First, he weaves a mesh, which he fills with air after. Subsequently, it takes the form of a bell. A silver spider lays its house on a snag, a plant or a stone. The spider breathes not only light, but also the entire surface, so the air in the cocoon is consumed economically.

He arrived from America on the colonial ships. He also entered the United States, Australia and, most recently, Finland, as far as he could get into containers. The male is usually smaller and slimmer. Depending on the environment in which they live, they can take on darker, lighter, or red tones, which sometimes make their recognition dangerously difficult. Although the speed with which they work is a controlling factor, experts recommend putting shoes on any doubts.

How does a silver spider fill its underwater nest?

Its poison is very toxic: a broth of proteolytic enzymes that dissolve meat proteins and produce a terrible inflammation of purple, fuchsia or reddish color around the area of ​​the bite. If the patient survives, after three days of danger of death, the wound may experience necrosis in all its surroundings, revealing horrendous wounds, which sometimes require several months or even years to heal completely. It occurs in 10% of cases of ulcers. The pain this whole picture produces is also described as unbearable by those who suffered it.

To replenish the air, the spider rises to the surface of the water. By the way, it floats rather quickly, at a speed of about 2 cm / s. Only the belly protrudes to the surface, the rest of the body is in the water. At this moment, the silverfish is completely defenseless, so it tries not to attract attention. Having accumulated air into the lungs and hair, he dives into the water of his bell in order to shed air. To keep the hairs on the abdomen from sticking together and capturing as much air as possible, silverfish occasionally comb them and grease them with bold secretion from the mouth.

Leonid Yakubovich and Alexander Rosenbaum

Worse, it was never possible to find an antidote against this infamous poison. They are brown but may be grayish brown, brown, dark brown or blackish. They have a darker depression in the form of a violin on the dorsal side of the cephalothorax, which justifies the popular name. Cotton appearance, dirty and irregular. The fabric they produce has a fluffy, dirty and irregular look2. They usually live in houses or homes. In Argentina, more than 85% of accidents occur at home or peridomicili. 5 They are lucifuga and sensitive to moisture, so they can be found in dry, dark places.

Although the silver spider has 8 eyes, it sees it very poorly, but it has a sufficiently developed perception of shaking and movement. Like all silverfish from its cocoon, it stretches the signal threads to the nearest plants, bark and stones, so he immediately feels that someone has touched his web. Without losing a minute, the spider immediately runs to check whether the victim is caught. Serebryanka eats with pleasure fish fry, insect larvae and crustaceans, in most cases it hunts at night.

Amazing Silver Spider House

At home, they can be found behind paintings, furniture, mirrors, clothes that have been stored, libraries. Peridomycinia can be found in the cracks of walls, logs and sheds. They have low aggressiveness, and the bite is produced by protection against the impossibility of flying or when it is crushed against the body. They are solitary, but with favorable environmental conditions they can be found in large quantities, and in this case they lead to infection with numerous specimens both in the constructions and in peridomicyen spaces.

The silver spider drags its victim into a bell, then lies back, releasing enzymes to digest the soft tissue of the prey. All that could not digest, the spider simply throws out of the cocoon. Since males are slightly larger than females, they may not worry that they will be eaten and settle nearby. Mating occurs quite peacefully and always in the female's cocoon.

However, this must be taken into account. that this is not the only intra-motivational brown spider and that the majority of patients who are bitten by spiders go to the clinic without the intended animal aggressor. Similarly, loxosheev habitat characteristics are important in pediatrics. Lokosheski can be found in peridomicili in places that are not illuminated by the sun, between brick joints, piles of wood, abandoned appliances, furniture highlight, drawers with elements with low mobility and behind pictures or billboards, so it makes up, When infected in large quantities high risk for children gives their natural curiosity and the ability to penetrate inaccessible places or few adults visit.

It is necessary to start rebuilding the cocoon for eggs immediately after fertilization, which, in fact, is done by silverfish. The spider usually lays from 10 to 160 eggs. The female incubates the eggs, and until the little spiders leave the cocoon, she does not come out of it and does not eat anything. Young spiders usually lodge in the same reservoir or weave their webs and with the help of the wind move to another reservoir.

This is due to the activation of endogenous protease membrane erythrocytes, poison sphingomyelinases15, which clone glycophorins that protect the erythrocyte of the complement and cause complement-mediated hemolysis, leading to renal failure. On the other hand, the direct effect of poison on the kidney is discussed16.

Bite corner spider. There are two clinical forms: cox-locosecretization and skin-visceral loxosterism. The initial lesion is characterized by edema, erythema and, sometimes, burning pain. Marble slab, 36-hour evolution. In the period from the 5th to the 7th day, the skin lesion is limited to the formation of a black eshar, which begins to exfoliate from the second week.

The life of a silverfish is approximately 18 months. For the winter, there are practically only young spiders and some old females. In order not to freeze, they are looking for empty shells that weave around the web, or weave a dense cocoon of glassy mass. Even severe frost silverfish endure quite well.

The exfoliated form is a clinical variant of point loxosterism in the region of weak tissues, usually the face. Skin-visceral loxosselism A more serious condition than the previous one is characterized by intravascular hemolysis and disseminated intravascular coagulation associated with the skin lesions described above. This occurs between 6-24 hours after the bite and less often 48 hours later. 12, 12 There is systemic involvement: fever, chills, decay, jaundice and dark urine, an increase in indirect bilirubin, lactic dehydrogenase, and a decrease in hematocrit as a result of the hemolytic effect of the poison.

The water spider (Argyroneta aquatica), also called the dropsy spider and silverfish spider, belongs to the arachnid class (Arachnoidsa), to the order Araneina, to the Agelenidae family. This is the only spider that has adapted perfectly to the underwater existence.
In terms of its biological characteristics, the water spider represents many remarkable things. He often meets excursions, tolerates captivity, and even builds his famous nests in the form of an underwater bell in aquariums. All this makes it stop on him as an important excursion object.
By appearance water spider is almost no different from other spiders. His body is divided into the cephalothorax and abdomen, separated by a deep interception. Both parts of the body are non-segmented. On the chest sit four pairs of long jointed legs. On the cephalothorax, in its front part, we notice eight pairs of small shiny eyes. There are two pairs of jaws: the first pair is called chelicerae and serves to set and kill prey, it is claw-shaped and equipped with a poison gland, the second pair, called pedipalps, plays the role of maxillary tentacles.
Most spiders have males less females. In the silver males and females of almost the same size, a large variety of males is often caught, which is even significantly larger than the females. Young animals are yellowish-gray or yellow-brown in color; old ones are much darker than young ones, sometimes almost black. Females differ from males, except for their size, in light gray coloring of the back part of the body. In addition, in males the abdomen is more elongated.

Water spider - food

Patients may develop with acute renal failure, the main cause of death due to loxosterism. Another factor contributing to kidney damage is rhabdomyolysis secondary to local necrosis. 20 This is a severe clinical form with a torpedoing course, which increases the morbidity and mortality of the patient and can reach 17% mortality. 3

There are no specific laboratory tests for loxosterism. Spider-like identification: spider rescue is difficult because the sting in most cases goes unnoticed initially. If a sample is captured, it will be identified by specialized personnel. Differential diagnosis In accordance with the evolutionary moment of the lesion, differential diagnoses are considered: cellulitis, erysipelas, other arthropod bites, pyoderma gangrenosum, ecthyma, skin anthrax, burns, necrotizing fasciitis. 25

Water spider (Argyroneta aquatica). Is eating. led (According to V. A. Wagner.) 1 - a male, 2 - a female, 3 - an underwater bell of a spider, a prey is suspended from a web, 4 - a contour of the body of a female with an air bubble facilitating it, 5 - a contour of the body of a male with an air bubble, 6 - a coil shell serving as a winter shelter for a spider.

Most often water spider is found in standing or slow flowing waters rich in vegetation.
Movements . Being snatched by a net from its native element, the water spider tries to flee and immediately gives itself away to the observer. On land, it moves very quickly and deftly, no worse than many land spiders. But at the same time, not bad and swims, acting all legs, like oars.
Breathes silverfish, like other spiders, atmospheric air, which captures, rising to the surface of the reservoir. When immersed in water, part of the air is carried along with it in the form of an air film that envelops the body. This phenomenon is usually due to the fact that the body of the spider is covered with very thin hairs that are not moistened with water. However, the matter here is invisible, not in the hairs, but in a thin mesh of cobwebs, with which the spider surrounds its body. With this mesh, it captures a bubble of air when submerged under water.
Having planted the caught spider in a vessel with water, you can immediately watch a very beautiful sight on the excursion: the enveloping abdomen air glitters under the water like silver (hence the name silverfish).
Interestingly, the air bubble differently envelops the body of the male and the body of the female: in the female, the air surrounds the abdomen and part of the cephalothorax, while in the male the upper part of the abdomen remains free from air. Because of this, the male's air bubble is smaller in volume, it does not so much pull it up and gives it the opportunity to make more deft movements in the water and swim not only headfirst down, as females swim, but also holding horizontally (according to V. A. Wagner) .
When breathing, the air is conducted into the pulmonary bags, which are located on the lower side of the abdomen and open with twin breathing holes. Silverfish has only one pair of lungs, which is why it belongs to the group of two-pulmonary spiders (Dipneumones). In addition, the silverfish has a system of tracheal tubes that open with two holes on the lower abdomen.
Feeds on silverfish with various small aquatic animals, for example, insect larvae, water donkeys, etc. Attacking prey, envelops it with cobwebs and then sucks them out, while using their claw-like chelicera, which they dig into the victim, poisoning it with the release of their poisonous glands.
Housing construction is a remarkable feature of the water spider. He builds under water from the secretions of his spider glands air-filled dwellings that look like a thimble or a bell. The spider substance necessary for the construction is secreted, like in other spiders, from spinning glands opening on special papillae, which, among the two pairs, are placed on the posterior end of the abdomen and are called spider warts. The adhesive liquid they produce rapidly hardens in air and in water, forming durable transparent threads.
Building spiders on the tour itself is difficult to detect. Being, however, planted in an aquarium, the spider pretty soon arranges for itself an airy dwelling in captivity, making it possible with the convenience to observe the techniques of its construction. First of all, he arranges under water a braid of rare filaments of a web, attaching it to aquatic plants or to other objects. Then the spider begins to pull air under this braid, capturing it from the surface. The air held under the water by the arachnous braid, mechanically lifts it up and forms the shape of a dome. The resulting education fits with new threads of the cobweb, in the end it turns out transparent, filled with air, a structure that reaches the size of a pigeon's egg. The bell serves as a safe underwater shelter for the spider, here it rests, here it eats caught prey, etc.
If the spider is well and full, then its bell is large and well filled with air. In starving, weak animals the bell gradually collapses. Sick spiders gradually lose even the ability to enfold their bodies with air, begin to be moistened with water and drown.
Wintering Spiders are an interesting phenomenon that can be partly covered by a guided tour. For the winter, the spiders arrange underwater cocoons, in which they sink into hibernation. But sometimes they winter in empty shells of mollusks (pond snails, coils, etc.). Having found such a shell, the spider pulls air into it until it floats to the surface. The shell of arachnoid threads is attached to floating aquatic plants (duckweed). The spider hides in the shell and seals its hole with plant debris held together by cobwebs.
Such floating cocoon shells can be seen in the fall on the surface of water bodies. It is enough to open the shell to detect its inhabitant. V.A. Wagner says that, having once examined a hundred such shells collected from ponds in the environs of Moscow, only in two of them did he not find a spider sitting inside.
With the onset of cold weather, aquatic plants sink to the bottom of the reservoir and together with them sink the silverfish in its shell. In the spring, the duck emerges, and the shelter of the overwintering spider is again brought to the surface, freeing the captive.
Breed water spiders, like others, are eggs. Eggs are laid in an underwater cocoon, which resembles an ordinary bell by the nature of its construction, but its walls are much denser. Eggs are laid at the top of the bell and secured with spiderwebs. Young spiders emerging from their eggs soon begin to build little underwater lairs for themselves, resembling adult spiders.

Nonspecific Includes supportive treatment, aseptic damage, prophylaxis of protovovka, if necessary, and analgesics. 19 Corticosteroids, currently used, reduce the local inflammatory response in severe cases with a systemic compromise. Dapsone was used to inhibit polymorphonuclear migration and the hyperbaric chamber, which would improve the vascularization of the affected area.

Конкретный. Конкретная мера - это использование противоядия. Его наибольшая эффективность наблюдалась в течение первых 12 часов. Есть немногие мировые производители этих противоядий, и их предложение, даже в странах-производителях, ограничено, что частично связано с трудным получением этих пауков и их ядом. Neutralizing potencies declared in different antidotes are not comparable, since efficacy tests are conducted with different types of animals and are determined by different methodologies. These reasons mean that the nominal capacities are not comparable and should relate to the manufacturer's proposals for dosage in various clinical pictures of loxosterism.

* B.Ye.Raykov, M.N.Rimsky-Korsakov. Zoological excursions. 1956

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Development and lifestyle

In this last point, it is worth mentioning that less purified antidotes can produce anaphylactic or anaphylactoid reactions more often than those that have a good pharmaceutical cleaning process. Children, for their playful actions, may be more susceptible to contact in contaminated environments. The initial lesion can be confused with what was produced by another arthropod, but evolution over several hours is characteristic and differentiated from other common skin pathologies in childhood. Given the need for early treatment to minimize local lesions, avoid or reduce systemic lesions, early differential diagnosis and timely use of appropriate treatment are essential for managing these poisonings.

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Systemic poisoning can lead to death, but purely skin accidents, especially in pediatric patients, can be extremely difficult due to the extensive loss of tissue in patients with reduced body weight, which can lead to functional disability or severe psychological impairment as a result of these injuries. Knowledge of physiopathology and the presence of an antidote is fundamental to treatment. As in all cases of animal poisoning, the main measures against the Lox Secretary should be aimed at preventing accidents.

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It is imperative to clean the house periodically and avoid putting materials and objects that could lead to the spread of arthropods. Elimination of intracranial arthropods is important to reduce the food of spiders. It is important to carefully study clothes, chairs or other furniture, toys, etc. that they were in environments in which spiders were discovered, especially those that enter from these places into dwellings. In these cases, check shoes before placing them, shake clothes and tablecloths dried in the sun before bending them, move beds away from walls and windows, use mosquito nets on windows and doors that are recommended.

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How do I know that in front of you is a silver spider?

These spiders grow to a length of 1.5 centimeters. Females differ from males in a more rounded abdomen.

Silverfish spider is the only water spider in the world.

This eight-legged one has 2 pairs of jaws. On the abdominal part there are waterproof hairs, thanks to which the animal breathes. But this feature to keep the air between the hairs gives not only the ability to breathe, but also gives the spider a silver color.

The air collected under the belly spider wears into its hole under water and creates something like an oxygen reserve. If there is enough air in the dwelling, then silverfish very rarely appears on the surface.

The name of the spider was due to air bubbles gathering in his paws.

The body of the spider on the dorsal part has almost no hair. It is colored brownish red.

How a silver spider lives and how it feeds

The first thing to note is that these spiders swim very well in the water. In one second, the animal overcomes a distance of two centimeters. For a spider's body size, that's a lot!

The silverfish builds its secluded dwelling under water; it is a funnel-shaped nest woven from cobwebs. Attached is such a "house" to the stones, plants or snags.

Silver spider is a real predator.

The silver spider lifestyle is strictly nightlife. At night, this predator goes hunting. Small fish, crustaceans, as well as larvae of various insects become its prey.

When winter comes, silverfish hide in empty shells of mollusks or in a cocoon specially woven for winter cold. So the spider lives before the onset of spring, because with the revival of nature after winter sleep, the silverfish should start reproduction.

This spider is a poisonous creature.

How does the breeding of a silver spider occur?

This phase of the life cycle is again accompanied by the creation of a special cocoon. Its purpose: to be a haven for spider eggs. In such a cocoon, woven from its own web, the female silverfish lays from 10 to 100 eggs.

Spider collects excess air in a cocoon.

The female lays its clutch very carefully and jealously protects against unauthorized attacks. The babies born into the world very quickly gaining height and weight. When they are only two weeks old, they are already leaving the parental home and begin to live independently.

Young individuals, often, move to live in another reservoir, but there are also cases when they remain in their own pond or lake.

Silverfish winters in shells abandoned by snails.


In appearance, the silverfish is not easy to distinguish from its land relatives. Dark brown, with black lines and spots, the head of the spider's chest is almost naked. She has eight eyes. On the dorsal side of the brown abdomen, covered with velvety hairs, there are two rows of depressed points. Young spiders are yellowish-gray, old ones are much darker, sometimes almost black. A male larger than a female is rare among spiders. Perhaps that is why he remains alive after mating and lives peacefully side by side with his wife. In addition to the smaller size, the female is distinguished by a light gray color in the back of the body, and the male's abdomen is more elongated.

Aqualungs Underwater

Serebryanka lives in standing and slowly flowing water bodies rich in vegetation, so its second name is water spider. At the same time she breathes | the lungs and trachea that open on the underside of the abdomen. The spider lubricates the hairs on the body with a water-repellent substance - a modified secret of the spider glands. When immersed, they trap air bubbles, and the spider appears silver. This stock of silver is enough not to float to the surface for a long time.

The male can be distinguished from the female by the type of bubble: the upper part of the abdomen is free from air. In the female he surrounds the entire belly and part of the cephalothorax, so she always swims headfirst. Males can also swim horizontally, raking all legs like oars.


The silverfish not only hunts under water, but also lives in the full sense of the word. The dwelling of this spider is an air dome shaped like a bell, the size of a hazelnut, or even a pigeon's egg. It is held by a cobweb, stretched between aquatic plants. Building materials - air bubbles - the spider delivers on its body from the surface. To do this, he protrudes the end of the abdomen from the water and spreads the spider warts, after which he dives quickly, taking the vial away. Then it separates it with its hind legs and attaches it to the dome.

A spider can spend a whole day in its house without replenishing oxygen reserves. Scientists have determined that the air bell itself performs gas exchange. Oxygen enters it from water when its concentration becomes lower than in the environment, and carbon dioxide, on the contrary, goes into the water. But it is still necessary to replenish the air supply: with time, nitrogen begins to leak from the spider house, the pressure drops, and it shrivels like a pierced ball.


Silverfish feed on various small crustaceans and other invertebrates, which fall into their fishing net or directly into tenacious legs. They see the spiders is not important, but the hairs on the legs make it possible to feel the smallest tremors of the web, jump out and grab the potential food. The digestion of the silverfish is extraintestinal, like that of all spiders. The enzymes injected into the victim's body digest the soft tissues, after which the spider sucks out the resulting nutrient broth. To do this, he brings food to his bell and, lying on his back, rests his front legs against the wall of the dwelling. In this position, the liquid food does not flow down, but directly into the mouth of the spider. Then a clean silverfish brings undigested remains to the outside.


For reproduction, the female rebuilds the house: she lines the top of the bell with loose web, on which she lays from 15 to 160 eggs. The mother sits on them with her head down and guards, even without taking food and only occasionally replenishing the air supply. This “hatching” takes about ten days. Young spiders come out of bald eggs and therefore can only breathe while inside the mother bell. Here are their first two-first molt, after which they move to independent living.


Silverfish overwinter in a special extremely durable air dome. Sometimes they even use pond snails for this. Having pulled a stock of air there and having attached a shell to a duckweed floating on the surface of the water, the spider seals the entrance and falls into a state of deep dormancy. For the winter, the duckweed is buried, dragging the sink, and in spring, when the water warms up, it floats up again. Now wintered spider can leave his winter apartment.

Most young winters are spiders and males, less females. Sometimes late egg cocoons winter with females.

What does a silver spider and its underwater dwelling look like?

Representatives of this type of arachnid have a brown belly, as well as black cephalothorax and limbs, although at first glance at silverfish it may seem that they have a “mirror” color - such an illusion arises from the fact that the rays of light refract when hit by air bubbles that linger in many small hairs that spider’s body is covered.

The spider breathes air, if you watch its dwelling for some time, you can see how it regularly emerges to the surface, making an air exchange. To preserve the water repellency, the spider lubricates its abdomen with a secret that is secreted by chelators.

In the form of the abdomen, it is easy to distinguish the female from the male: in the female, the abdomen is rounded, respectively, and the dome of air is spherical in shape, and the males have a more elongated abdomen, therefore the air dome, which surrounds the abdomen, is heart-shaped.

The density of hairs does not allow moisture to penetrate deeply, and in order for the hairs to perform their function of capturing air bubbles, spiders have to clean them daily with their paws.

In nature, it is not easy to find silverfish and their underwater dwelling, but if you find it, you will not confuse with anything. The first thing that can be seen is a magnificent air bell, fixed by a web between underwater plants, in which a silverfish spider sits. In the water column one can see an air bubble inside which the abdomen of the spider is located, and the cephalothorax and the extremities are located outside.

The construction of the underwater bell begins with weaving a web at a depth, then the silverfish rises to the surface, captures air bubbles with its hairs and drags them under the net, after several dives the spider's home takes on a characteristic shape and becomes easily recognizable.

After that, the spider several times strengthens the construction of the web outside and inside, and also brings additional air bubbles. After the construction is completed, the spider begins to mask its underwater home - it covers the remains of aquatic plants.

Silver Spider Feeding

The home of the spider is its observation point, where it lies in wait for its prey. The favorite delicacy of arthropods is water donkeys.

Despite the presence of eight eyes, vision is not the main sense organ, silverfish perfectly perceives the movement of prey in the water column thanks to cobweb threads that support the air dome in the water column and serve as excellent indicators of the approach of prey.

As soon as the spider senses the movement of the water donkey, it immediately rushes in the direction of prey, with a successful throw, the spider captures the victim and carries it to its underwater hut.

Like most representatives of arachnids, silverfish have extraintestinal digestion: they inject digestive juices into the victim's body, active digestion of the contents occurs, and then the spider sucks up all the digested substances.

Sex differences in water spiders

In the silverfish spider, sexual dimorphism is expressed: males are always larger than females (this phenomenon is quite rare in arachnids), therefore the mating process occurs fairly peacefully, the individuals remain alive and healthy.

In one clutch there can be from 15 to 160 eggs, which the female lays in her dome, separating it with cobwebs from the main living area. Under favorable conditions, the spiders hatch after 10 days, and the youngsters hold the first two molts inside the mother bell.

An interesting fact is that after removing the little spiders, the mother may not recognize her brood and occasionally eat it. Water spiders live for about one and a half years, the wintering period can fall on any part of the life cycle.

For the period of wintering, the spiders erect especially strong and durable winter bells. In addition to the usual thread and camouflage it includes a special glassy mass. After wintering, the shelters of spiders with high water are spread over long distances, due to which the wide distribution of silver spiders.

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