The mystery of the NT’s aquatic tarantulas captured

We know very little about these aquatic tarantulas, but this footage shows their unique breathing techniques at work.
By Australian Geographic March 22, 2021 Reading Time: < 1 Print this page

The small town of Maningrida, located 500km east of Darwin, is home to something very special.

Nearby floodplains host the highest concentration of tarantulas in the world, and they can breathe underwater. They do this by coating themselves in a thin, mercury-like layer of bubbles.

Known generally as aquatic tarantulas, these unique spiders are yet to be given a proper name and because their habitat is also home to a large population of feral animals, we know very little about these spiders.

This footage was captured for the ABC natural history series The Magical Land of Oz now available on Netflix.