• Question: How does the fen raft spider 'skate' across the water? How long can it float on the water for?

    Asked by bw18 to Fen Raft Spider on 23 Nov 2017.
    • Photo: Fen Raft Spider

      Fen Raft Spider answered on 23 Nov 2017:

      Water repellent (hydrophobic) hairs on my legs enable me to use the surface tension to rest on the water surface or to row or gallop across it to grab my prey. We can also break the surface tension and run down stems underwater to hunt for prey. Theoretically I could sit on the water forever, but I’m sure that would make me an easy target for predators so I tend to hide away under plants after a while.