How Long Can Spiders Hold Their Breath? [Comprehensive Answer] - CGAA (2023)

How Long Can Spiders Hold Their Breath? [Comprehensive Answer] - CGAA (1)

Although spiders generally breathe air in and out using a special arrangement of openings on the sides of their bodies (spiracles), some spiders can hold their breath for a long time. One species of spider, the European cave spider (Meta menardi), has been documented to be able to stay submerged for up to 24 hours.


  • How much air do spiders need?
  • What happens to spiders when they don't have enough air?
  • Do all spiders need air to live?

There are several reasons why a spider might need to hold its breath for an extended period of time. For example, a spider might need to wait out a period of dryness, or survive being submerged in water.

When a spider is not actively moving, it generally doesn't need to breathe as often. Spiders can cut down on their respiratory rate by opening and closing their spiracles only when necessary.

In addition, spiders have a special protein in their blood (hemocyanin) that helps to keep them oxygenated even when they are not actively breathing. This protein gives spider's blood a blue color (as opposed to the red color of human blood, which contains hemoglobin).

So, how long can a spider realistically hold its breath? It depends on the individual spider, but it is generally thought that spiders can go for long periods of time without needing to take a breath.

How much air do spiders need?

How much air do spiders need? Most people would probably say not very much, and they would be right. Spiders, like most insects, get the majority of the oxygen they need from the air through their exoskeletons. This means that they don't have to breathe through their mouths like we do. However, that doesn't mean that they don't need air at all.

Spiders, like all animals, need oxygen to survive. The level of oxygen in the air can affect how much air a spider needs. For example, higher altitudes have less oxygen in the air. This means that spiders living in those areas need to take in more air to get the same amount of oxygen that they would at lower altitudes.

The type of spider also affects how much air they need. Smaller spiders generally need less air than larger spiders. This is because they have a smaller body size and therefore don't need as much oxygen.

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So, how much air do spiders need? It depends on a few factors, but most spiders generally don't need much air. They get most of the oxygen they need from the air through their exoskeletons. However, they still need some air to survive, and the level of oxygen in the air can affect how much air they need.

What happens to spiders when they don't have enough air?

When spiders don't have enough air, they can't breathe. This means they can't oxygenate their blood or get rid of carbon dioxide. Over time, this will cause them to suffocate and die.

There are a few ways that spiders can end up not having enough air. If they're in a sealed container that doesn't have any ventilation, for example, they'll eventually run out of air to breathe. Likewise, if they're submerged in water, they'll also suffocate.

If you find a spider that's in a situation where it doesn't have enough air, the best thing to do is to give it some air immediately. Open a window or door, or if it's in a container, poke some holes in the lid. This will give the spider a chance to breathe and hopefully avoid suffocation.

Do all spiders need air to live?

Spiders are air-breathing arthropods that have nine or fewer abdominal spiracles and chelicerae with fangs that inject venom. They are the largest group of arachnids and include the largest arthropods in the world, such as the goliath birdeater with a leg span of up to 11 inches (30 cm). Most spiders live for one to two years. Spiders that live in oxygen-rich environments such as underwater or on high mountains can live for up to 20 years.

The vast majority of spiders breathe through book lungs, which are a series of hollow tubes (tracheae) that open to the outside through a series of tiny holes, called stigmata, on the abdomen. The tracheae are connected to the book lungs by a one-way valve, so that air flows into the lungs but not back out. This system is very efficient, and spiders can extract up to 90% of the oxygen in the air that they breathe.

However, some spiders do not have book lungs. The greatest diversity of spiders that lack book lungs is found in the order Mesothelae, which contains only six families and about 170 species that live in southern China, Japan, Vietnam, and Central and South America. These spiders breathe through tracheal tubes that open directly to the outside through stigmata on the body.

One family of spiders that does not have book lungs is the Liphistiidae, which includes about 90 species found in East Asia. These spiders live in burrows and construct a lid, or trapdoor, at the entrance to their homes. The trapdoor helps the spiders to conserve moisture and prevents predators and other animals from entering the burrows. Underneath the lid, there is a small hole that functions as a stoma, or breathing pore. The size of the stoma is regulated by the spider through the contraction and relaxation of muscles, which open and close the pore.

Thus, not all spiders need air to live, but the majority of spiders do breathe air and would die without it.

How do spiders breathe?

Spiders are unique among air-breathing animals in that they have an open circulatory system. This means that their heart pumps blood through their arteries and veins without the use of capillaries. The lack of capillaries means that oxygen and carbon dioxide diffuse directly through the walls of the spider's vessels and into their body tissues.

While this may seem like a less efficient way of getting oxygen to the cells, it actually works quite well for spiders. Their bodies are small and their oxygen demands are not very high. Additionally, their open circulatory system allows them to breathe through their entire body surface, not just through their lungs.

One advantage of having an open circulatory system is that it allows spiders to take in oxygen from the atmosphere at a much higher rate than if they had to rely on their lungs alone. Another advantage is that it eliminates the need for the spider to pump blood UPHILL to its brain, as is the case in animals with a closed circulatory system.

So, how do spiders breathe? By diffusing oxygen and carbon dioxide through the walls of their arteries and veins, and by taking advantage of their open circulatory system to ensure that their entire body is oxygenated.

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What organs do spiders use to breathe?

Most spiders have two pairs of book lungs located in the cephalothorax, with a few variations depending on the family. The primary function of book lungs is gas exchange, allowing for the uptake of oxygen and the release of carbon dioxide. The book lungs are composed of many thin layers of tissue, separated by thin sheets of cuticle, that resemble the pages of a book. Each layer is full of air and is vascularized, meaning that it is full of tiny blood vessels. The blood vessels pick up oxygen from the air and release carbon dioxide.

spiders also have tracheae, which are small tubes that carry air directly to the tissues. The tracheae are located within the body and branching off from the larger tracheae are smaller tracheae that end in cells called tracheoles. The tracheoles are very thin and they penetrate the cells, meaning that the cells are in direct contact with the air inside the tracheae. This allows for gaseous exchange to occur between the spider's cells and the outside air.

The book lungs and the tracheae work together to supply the spider's tissues with oxygen and to remove carbon dioxide. The book lungs are used for gas exchange and the tracheae are used for delivering oxygen to the cells.

How do spiders get air into their lungs?

The methods by which spiders get air into their lungs vary by species, but all share a common need to bring oxygen into contact with their cells. Most spiders have book lungs, which are thin sheets of tissue with many small openings, called stigmata, that allow air to flow in and out. The stigmata are usually clustered together in a pair of dorsal (upper) lungs, although some species have multiple pairs of lungs.

When a spider breathes, air enters the first pair of stigmata and passes over the internal surfaces of the book lungs. Oxygen diffuses from the air into the spider's blood, and carbon dioxide diffuses from the blood into the air. The air then flows out of the stigmata and into the second pair of lungs, where the process is repeated.

Spiders can also extract oxygen from the air directly through their bodies. This process, called cutaneous respiration, occurs when oxygen diffuses through the spider's exoskeleton and body tissues and into the blood. Cutaneous respiration is particularly important for spiders that live in water, as it allows them to stay submerged for long periods of time.

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Spiders are able to get air into their lungs efficiently because they have a high surface area to volume ratio. This means that there is a lot of surface area relative to the volume of their bodies, which allows them to exchange gases quickly.

How do spiders get rid of the air they breathe out?

As air is exhaled, it first passes through the bronchi and then through the trachea to the spider’s mouth. From there, the air enters the abdomen where it eventually passes out through the spiracles. The spiracles are tiny holes located on the sides of the abdomen that allow air to enter and exit the body.

When a spider exhales, the air in its abdomen is forced out through the spiracles. This process is called abdominal ventilation. To ensure that the air is exhaled completely, the spider uses its legs to massage its abdomen. This helps to push any remaining air out of the body.

spiders get rid of the air they breathe out, they first pass it through the bronchi and then through the trachea to the mouth. From there, the air enters the abdomen and is forced out through the spiracles. To ensure that all the air is exhaled, the spider uses its legs to massage its abdomen.

What happens to spiders when they die?

When spiders die, their bodies disintegrate and release their energy back into the universe. Their spirits move on to the next life where they will take on a new form.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can spiders hold their breath?

The short answer is no, spiders cannot hold their breath for long periods of time. In general, spiders spend about 2/3 of their life underwater and they cannot hold their breath under water for more than a few seconds. Furthermore, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that people do not spray insecticides around homes or near Draper Garden Houses where spiders might be hiding.

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How long does it take a spider to die?

It can take a spider a few hours, a few days, or a few weeks to die.

Can spiders drown?

Due to the fact that spiders in general have a lower metabolic rate even the kind not at all used to the water can sometimes survive for up to an hour without oxygen. Basically, if you need to kill a spider trying to drown it is simply not the way to go about doing it.

What is the respiratory system of Spider?

The respiratory system of spiders is similar to that of vertebrates. The spiders have lungs that are made up of air-filled plates called book lungs. These lungs allow the spiders to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide with their blood.

Do spiders breathe?

Yes, spiders do breathe. They just do not breathe like mammals and other animals do. They do not take a breath through their mouth like humans do but instead they breathe through their skin on the underside. Compared to man's own respiratory system, they have an open respiratory system.

How Long Can Spiders Hold Their Breath? [Comprehensive Answer] - CGAA (2)

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How long can a spider hold their breath? ›

A tropical spider species uses a “film” of air to hide underwater from predators for as long as 30 minutes, according to faculty at Binghamton University.

Can spiders hold their breath for 40 hours? ›

Fulvolineata can survive up to 40 hours underwater by slipping into a brief suspended animation, switching its metabolism from aerobic to anaerobic when oxygen is in short supply. Pictures of the marsh spider, Arctosa fulvolineata during an experiment.

How long can a spider go without breathing? ›

Spiders can also survive not breathing -- demonstrated dramatically when submerged under water. Spiders presumed "drowned" after being submerged for 24-36 hours reanimate when they dry back out.

Can spiders breathe without air? ›

Since spiders do not actively breathe and cannot hold their breath when underwater, why can they survive these things better than other bugs? Crawford says it is because sometimes body hair on a spider can trap air and make a film that can exchange some oxygen and carbon dioxide with the surrounding water.

Can a spider survive in water? ›

A variety of spiders are adapted for life on and around water. Many of these are commonly called fishing spiders or water spiders. Several have the ability to run across the water's surface. Some build webs, while others do not.

Do you spiders breathe? ›

Abstract. Spiders (Araneae) are unique regarding their respiratory system: they are the only animal group that breathe simultaneously with lungs and tracheae. Looking at the physiology of respiration the existence of tracheae plays an important role in spiders with a well-developed tracheal system.

What is the longest breath hold? ›

The current world record for breath holding, using a technique that is likely the same one the actor employed, is 24 minutes and 37 seconds. This is held by Budimir Šobat — a professional breath hold diver with whom I have worked closely.

What can hold its breath the longest? ›

The longest ever recorded dive by a whale was made by a Cuvier's beaked whale. It lasted 222 minutes and broke the record for diving mammals. Other whales can also hold their breath for a very long time. A sperm whale can spend around 90 minutes hunting underwater before it has to come back to the surface to breathe.

Can a dead spider move? ›

In case you have also wondered, the legs of dead spiders curl up because they use hydraulics instead of muscles to flex them. A chamber called the prosoma pumps fluid into each leg independently in order to move and flex the joints. So when the spider dies, the pressure releases and the legs curl in on themselves.

Do spiders have blood? ›

Spiders, like most arthropods, have an open circulatory system, i.e., they do not have true blood, or veins which transport it. Rather, their bodies are filled with haemolymph, which is pumped through arteries by a heart into spaces called sinuses surrounding their internal organs.

Can spiders survive in a jar? ›

Large spiders do well in the inexpensive plastic terrariums available from pet stores. Smaller ones can be kept in jars or plastic containers if air holes are drilled into the lid or sides. Be sure the holes are small enough to prevent escape. Potting soil makes good cover for the cage bottom.

Do spiders have a brain? ›

In the case of many creatures, including spiders, social behaviour is driven by neurons in the brain. "One of the conditions for social animals is that they have a bigger brain size," Mikheyev says. "Not only do they need to store information about the physical environment, but also the social one."

Do spiders have hearts? ›

Unlike most other invertebrates, spiders - like humans - have more centralised organs such as the heart and the brain.

Do spiders get scared? ›

Spiders are scared of almost everything.

But spiders avoid almost everything, so it isn't a big leap to say that they are afraid. Keep in mind that many spiders have poor eyesight and rely on their other senses to find food and detect danger.

Can a spider survive being flushed? ›

Flushed spiders will drown if they end up submerged in the sewer,” Jerome Rovner, a member of the American Arachnological Society, told Real Clear Science. “However, the drowning process for a spider can take an hour or more, as they have an extremely low metabolic rate and thus a very low rate of oxygen consumption.”

Can a spider get out of a bath? ›

Flies and other insects can climb up windows but spiders can't get out of the bath.

Can spiders come out of the toilet? ›

It may be surprising. Spiders don't emerge from the dark, gurgling abyss of the drain hole. Sorry, myth busted. In actuality, it's more likely they come from under your bathroom door, or a crack in the window or elsewhere.

Do spiders ever sleep? ›

Spiders do not sleep in the same way that humans do, but like us, they do have daily cycles of activity and rest. Spiders can't close their eyes because they don't have eyelids but they reduce their activity levels and lower their metabolic rate to conserve energy.

Do you squish spiders? ›

If you cannot stand having a spider in the home, don't squish it to bits. Instead, capture it with a jar and release it outside. It will find somewhere else to go and will continue preying on the bugs you also despise.

Do spiders have teeth? ›

In its most common use, spiders bite their prey and inject venom, which immobilizes the prey and starts the process of digestion. Spiders have no teeth and rely on the venom to liquefy their prey in order that their stomachs, known as sucking stomachs, can draw in the meal.

Is holding your breath bad? ›

Holding your breath too long can have some side effects , including: low heart rate from a lack of oxygen. CO₂ buildup in your bloodstream. nitrogen narcosis, a dangerous buildup of nitrogen gases in your blood that can make you feel disoriented or inebriated (common among deep-sea divers)

Did Tom Cruise hold his breath for 6 minutes? ›

Cruise famously held his breath for six minutes on the set of 'Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation'. Winslet was so chuffed with her aquatics skills that she got her husband to video the scene after she sneaked him on set during production.

Is holding your breath for 2 minutes good? ›

For most people, it's safe to hold your breath for a minute or two. Doing so for too much longer can decrease oxygen flow to the brain, causing fainting, seizures and brain damage. In the heart, a lack of oxygen can cause abnormalities of rhythm and affect the pumping action of the heart.

Can we hold breath for 3 minutes? ›

The longest instance of someone holding their breath without inhaling pure oxygen beforehand is 11 minutes and 34 seconds. However, most people can only safely hold their breath for 1 to 2 minutes. The amount of time you can comfortably and safely hold your breath depends on your specific body and genetics.

What can hold its breath for 6 days? ›

Scorpions are organisms which can hold their breath for up to even 6 days. Scorpions are called arachnids, which are members of the animal kingdom's arachnid class.

How long can you survive under water? ›

Most people can hold their breath comfortably for about 1-2 minutes. Trying to hold your breath for much longer than this, especially under water, may be dangerous. Our bodies need both oxygen (O2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) to survive.

Can a spider crawl out of a sink? ›

Modern drains contain a liquid containing sediment trap that spiders are not capable of penetrating. If you see a spider or an insect in your bathtub, just remember that they are unable to crawl up the porcelain side to find escape, so they will need your assistance.

Why do spiders sit still for so long? ›

Web-spinning spiders obviously remain motionless while they are waiting for something to land in their web. Moving around wastes energy and draws attention to the spider, which makes it more likely to be eaten by birds, and makes flies less likely to get caught in the web.

How far can spiders float? ›

This action, called ballooning, can carry an individual spider at least 1,000 miles on a light wind and two to three miles above the earth (10,500-16,000 feet). The spider can stay airborne over open ocean and thus colonize an island.

What animal can hold breath for 6 days? ›

Scorpions are organisms which can hold their breath for up to even 6 days. Scorpions are called arachnids, which are members of the animal kingdom's arachnid class. Their modified lungs, which are known as book lungs, also allow them to hold their breath for long.

Do spiders feel pain when sprayed? ›

They don't feel 'pain,' but may feel irritation and probably can sense if they are damaged. Even so, they certainly cannot suffer because they don't have emotions.

Can spiders smell fear? ›

While the theory is unproven, it is likely that spiders can detect human fear. However, there are only few studies about this topic and it is not yet known for certain. Different animals have sensory organs that are able to identify different stimuli.

What animal can hold its breath longest? ›

The longest ever recorded dive by a whale was made by a Cuvier's beaked whale. It lasted 222 minutes and broke the record for diving mammals. Other whales can also hold their breath for a very long time. A sperm whale can spend around 90 minutes hunting underwater before it has to come back to the surface to breathe.

What is the longest breath hold on air? ›

The unheralded Cuvier's beaked whale has a recorded dive of 222 minutes. That tops the list of whales and seals, the gold-medal standard for breath holders. Many species can comfortably hold their breath for over 100 minutes including Elephant seals, Sperm whales, and Weddel seals.

How long can most humans hold their breath? ›

The longest instance of someone holding their breath without inhaling pure oxygen beforehand is 11 minutes and 34 seconds. However, most people can only safely hold their breath for 1 to 2 minutes. The amount of time you can comfortably and safely hold your breath depends on your specific body and genetics.

How long can a cat hold its breath? ›

Flexi Says: Cats can hold their breath underwater or when it is required for their survival due to the reflex action. They can hold their breath underwater for about 2-5 minutes so that in that time, a cat can easily swim to the surface.

Can a spider cry? ›

Called stridulations, the shrill cries sound like squeaky leather and are made in response to the rhythmic squeezing actions of the male's genitalia from inside the female during sex.

What do spiders fear most? ›

It's easy to keep spiders away using natural products. These eight-legged creatures hate the smell of citrus fruits such as lemons and oranges. They also don't like peppermint oils, tea tree oils, eucalyptus, and vinegar. Using any of these around your home will keep spiders away.

Do spiders play dead? ›

MALES will go to extreme lengths to get females, but playing dead might not seem like an obvious strategy. Some male nursery web spiders, however, regularly feign death, and those that do are more likely to mate.

What smell puts off spiders? ›

Spiders really don't like strong scents such as citrus, peppermint, tea-tree, lavender, rose or cinnamon. Add 15 to 20 drops of your chosen essential oil or a couple of capfuls of Zoflora fragrance to a spray bottle filled with water, and spritz around the house.

Are spiders afraid of dogs? ›

Dogs and spiders, typically, do not get along. That being said, with an influx of spiders as pets, people have been keeping dogs and spiders under the same roof in controlled environments for decades.

What happens if you destroy a spider web? ›

Removing Spider Webs Reduces Spider Populations

But a single web can have an egg sac with hundreds of spiders inside. The American house spider can have as many as 400 eggs in its egg sac. When you remove spider webs that have these paper-like sacs attached, you stop those spiders from hatching.

What animals can t breathe? ›

When the parasitic blob known as Henneguya salminicola sinks its spores into the flesh of a tasty fish, it does not hold its breath. That's because H. salminicola is the only known animal on Earth that does not breathe.

What animal can live the longest? ›

There are a number of marine species that outlive humans, and the mammal species that holds the record for longevity is the bowhead whale, which can live for 200 years - or more.

Which animal has the best breathing? ›

The lungs of birds are the best among all organisms. They can intake two times more oxygen in their lungs. They are the most efficient breathers among all animals. The capacity of their lungs is higher than other animals.


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