What is the maximum amount of time a spider can hold its breath?
Spiders need oxygen for respiration in the same way that humans do. They have internal structures called book lungs that they take advantage of. In addition to having an external opening to the outer world, they have a considerable interior surface area, and the spider’s ‘blood’ flows close by. In contrast to our own lungs, a spider’s book lungs rely on passive passage of air rather than on active ‘breaths.’
Bubbles of air get caught in the numerous fine hairs that cover the body of a wetland spider if it submerges itself underwater.
Dolomedes raft spiders are an excellent illustration of this. It is possible for them to dive for up to an hour before reappearing because of the silvery layer of air bubbles that have formed around their bodies.
Consequently, even though spiders are unable to retain their breath, many will survive interactions with water that keep them immersed for minutes – and maybe hours – albeit not days, according to the experts. All of this is accomplished without the need to ‘take a breath.’
Watch this video to learn how long can a spider hold its breath.