The families of British spiders


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Argyronetidae; ~Agelenidae.

Water Spider.

Fully aquatic, living and hunting in slow-moving or still water, and maintaining a submerged, air-filled bell web as home base.

Morphology. The adult spiders 8–15 mm long; of medium build (males), or decidedly plump-bodied (females); decidedly short-legged (about as long as the body to somewhat longer); with eight eyes. The eyes in two horizontal rows of 4; all clear and glassy. The palpal organs of the male of complex structure and enclosed by the specialized, hollowed tarsal segment (the cymbium). Metatarsus IV of the females without a calamistrum. Tarsal claws 3. The abdomen plain dorsally (dark). The tracheal spiracles behind the epigastric fold. The abdomen of the females without a cribellum. The reproductive openings of the females associated with an epigyne.

The adults constructing a retreat in the form of an underwater diving-bell, which is kept filled with air; not making snare-webs; actively pursuing their prey (swimming and hunting in slow-moving water).

British representation. 1 species in Britain; in the genus Argyroneta (A. aquatica).

Illustrations. • Argyroneta aquatica.

To view the illustrations with detailed captions, go to the interactive key. This also offers full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting or lacking specified attributes, and distributions of character states within any set of taxa.

Cite this publication as: ‘Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 2003 onwards. The families of British spiders. Version: 4th January 2012.’.