My love of all flies ‘leggy’ continues and whilst surfing the Internet in the depths of winter 2010 I came across these extraordinary creatures. I’ve christened them, ‘Scuba Diver’ Spiders but their correct name is Argyroneta Aquatica. They’re also known as ‘Diving Bell’ spiders.
Gathering air from the surface, they have the ability to make an air bubble nest underwater, where they raise their offspring. They breathe by carrying a bubble of air on the fine hairs of their abdomen. This bubble gives the rear half of their body a silvery appearance. Found in freshwater lakes and ponds, they grow to 10-15mm long and live on Phantom Midge larvae, Mites and Mayfly nymphs. They in turn are eaten by frogs and, I’m delighted to say, fish!
If you are a male water spider you can look forward to a reasonably long life. This is because, unlike some other spiders, the female of your choice will not eat you after mating! What a comforting thought!
Check out the great footage of the ‘Scuba Diver’ Spider on www.youtube.com
Here are the tying steps for my pattern; a few tips on how to fish it follow.
You will need:
Hook: Kamasan B160 Size 10.
Thread: Fine. I use black Sheer.
Head: Black glass bead. 3 or 4 mm.
Legs: Veniard Barred Rubber Legs. Brown or Olive.
Body: Peacock Black Ice Dub.
Air Sack: White Poly-Ball wrapped in stocking.
Place a 3or4mm black glass bead on the hook and secure the hook in the vice. Leave the bead at the back of the hook and tie in two barred rubber legs facing forward, one either side of the eye. Trim the waste. Build enough thread behind the eye to hold the bead firmly when slid forward. Secure and clip the thread. Add a little Super Glue to the thread wraps and slide the bead forward into position.
Restart the thread and wind it to the rear of the hook to above the barb. Tie in two more rubber legs, one either side of the hook shank, facing backwards. Add a little Peacock Black Ice Dub over the wraps. Directly over the dubbing, tie in a Poly ball wrapped in stocking and pointing backwards over the legs. Trim the stocking, dub over the wraps and dub forward halfway towards the bead.
Tie in another pair of legs either side of the hook shank and leave the thread hanging between them. Make a fine rope of dubbing and use this as you wrap forward to secure the legs in the required position.