What Do Tarantulas Eat

Tarantulas are always the first spider mentioned when discussing dangerous and frightening spiders. Tarantulas are a Hollywood favorite for ‘experiments gone wrong,’ and they have been portrayed in countless films as killing spiders. Tarantulas are not as scary as depicted in the movies.

Tarantulas, in fact, are remarkably efficient hunters and catapult them to the top of the food chain due to their exceptional intelligence.

Despite its tiny size, the tarantula is a spider that can fight any opponent, even one many times bigger than itself. Because of their intelligence and remarkable capacity to adapt to a variety of environments, tarantulas are formidable apex predators.

Tarantulas are natural experts in hunting and opportunistic feeders, therefore it is unlikely that anyone will be able to stop them from hunting for food. What do tarantulas eat becomes the next question.

Natural Habitat

Tarantulas prefer arid environments with plenty of soil. Ground spiders are found in trees, caves, and even in banana crops, but some species prefer to live on the ground. Southern US states, Mexico, Central and South America are among the places where they may be found.

Several spider species have been designated as endangered and protected because of their popularity in the animal trade. Some species, on the other hand, are considered common and hence unprotected. They are thus regarded plentiful.

The artificial habitat provided to captive and pet tarantulas typically emulates the characteristics of their natural environment. They should be given décor and decorations like trees and hides, as well as the right temperature, humidity, and care. Their natural diet should be closely matched, too.

What do you feed your pet tarantula?

You’ve come to the right place if you’re curious about what tarantulas eat. Tarantulas are very opportunistic feeders, and unless the prey is simply too huge to capture, they will attack and consume almost anything.

When prey comes available, tarantulas devour it, which is a result of feast-or-famine impulses. When many feeder insects are supplied at the same time, this behavior may be observed. Before settling down to eat them one by one, the tarantula will often gather a bunch of them.

Depending on the size of your pet tarantula, virtually any insect or small rodent is fair game. They may also eat freshly killed insects on occasion, which is done to provide a tarantula with a meal item that would be too big for it to naturally overcome.

Offering a pre-killed cricket to a spiderling is an excellent illustration of this.

Lastly, if your tarantula is kept with another tarantula, it seems likely that it will devour it or be devoured. Whether it stems from hunger or territorial behavior, cannibalism is common among spiders and other arachnids.

How They Eat

The tarantula’s eating method is both unusual and fascinating. The fangs of the razor must be inserted into the victim’s flesh. That really hurts. The tarantula kills its victim with a single bite, immobilizing it. By deconstructing soft tissue, digestive enzymes turn the prey into a liquid.

The tarantula can then suck up the meal because it is unable to swallow solid foods. A tarantula’s venom is sufficient to immobilize prey. A tarantula may conceal his prey in silk if he isn’t too hungry at the moment and wishes to keep it for a later meal.

What Do Tarantulas Eat?

Tarantulas are unique carnivores that consume huge invertebrates like grasshoppers, crickets, beetles, caterpillars, other spiders, and even small lizards. Little rodents, frogs, birds, and even snakes are eaten by larger tarantulas.

One of the world’s biggest spider species, they’re huge. Tarantulas grow to be about 5 cm long when they are adults. The Goliath Bird Eating Spider, which weighs from 5 to 6 ounces and has an 11-inch leg span, is the second biggest spider species on Earth.

The bigger the tarantula grows, the bigger its diet becomes, since spiders often consume prey that are smaller than themselves.

Little birds like hummingbirds are caught by the Goliath Bird Eating Spider, for example. Depending on their size, most tarantula species eat a broad range of prey. Tarantulas are tough feeders and accomplished hunters who will devour practically anything and everything.

How Often Do Tarantulas Eat?

It is impossible to say how often your tarantula will need feeding. Feeding schedules are normally designed based on the species you want to possess.

Offering food to younger spiders every four to seven days and bigger spiders every seven to ten days is considered a reasonable routine, as a general rule of thumb.

To help their young tarantulas grow quicker out of their most vulnerable period, some owners feed them daily. Furthermore, provide your spider pet with a small water dish in their tank in case they need it. Even though your spider pet will get most of its water from their food,

Also consider that younger tarantulas will eat until they are completely satiated, whereas full-grown adults may only eat once a month.

Observe your spider’s abdomen to see if you’re providing too much food. You may want to start reducing the feedings if it is excessively huge and your tarantula finds it difficult to move freely due to it.

Feeding a freshly molted spider is the last thing to take note of. Spiders molt because their exoskeleton, which they must shed in order to develop, is changing. Their skin is extremely vulnerable during this time period. They may injure your spider and cause major harm to their softened skin if live prey is present in the exhibit with them.

Wait around two weeks before returning to your normal eating routine for the safest approach.

How do I know if my pet tarantula is well fed?

Examining the abdomen of your pet tarantula may help you determine if it is adequately fed. It should be considerably the largest portion of its body, full and round. You should, however, increase your tarantula’s feeding regimen if it’s football-shaped or significantly smaller than the rest of its body.

Other factors may contribute to a disproportionately tiny abdomen, however it is usually the result of underfeeding.

Tarantula Diet

Tarantulas eat meat, which makes them carnivores. Crickets, grasshoppers, June beetles, cicadas, millipedes, caterpillars, and other spiders are among the large insects they consume.

Frogs, toads, fish, lizards, bats, and even small rodents and snakes are all eaten by larger tarantulas. Little birds are known to make up part of the diet of the Goliath birdeater, a South American species.

How Do Tarantulas Hunt for Food?

Tarantulas, being nocturnal hunters, rely on their ability to detect prey vibrations conveyed to them by the ground.

Tarantulas attack their prospective victims with a strike from their sharp fangs, known as chelicerae, and inject a paralytic venom.

A chemical-induced venom or digestive enzyme is created by this bite, which can eat through the prey’s flesh. The tarantula can suck the liquid up using its straw-shaped mouth under its fangs because this chemical helps in liquefying the victim’s flesh.

Tarantulas also have jaws that may break apart their victim, which are quite powerful.

Tarantulas spend the majority of their time on the ground, burrowing in dry soil, unlike most other spider species that build webs to capture prey. Silk is commonly used to line their burrow hole’s walls, which may serve as an alarm whenever a prey gets too close.

Juvenile and adult tarantula foods

In captivity, crickets are the most popular feeder insect for tarantulas because they are easy to care for. They’re active, nutritious, and cost-effective.

As long as you don’t add too many crickets to the tarantula’s terrarium at once, you can’t go wrong with them. Crikets are aggressive, and they may gang up on spiders.

Never feed your tarantula any meal insect that is bigger than its own body, according to a good rule of thumb. Tarantulas in the medium to large range should be fed adult crickets.

Waxworms, superworms, giant mealworms, dubia roaches, silkworms, and hornworms are just a few of the other kinds of food you can try. Your tarantula will probably like variety since it is a spider.

It is more than sufficient to feed two or three crickets every week. There is no need for supplementation.

What Do Baby Tarantulas Eat?

Before starting to feed a baby tarantula, you should first determine its size. Tarantulas often choose to prey on live prey, however pre-killed ones are acceptable at this crucial period since they can eat them.

Moreover, since baby spiders are tiny and delicate at this time in their lifecycle, giving them too much food might hurt them.

Baby tarantula fruit flies, extremely little pieces of crickets or micro crickets, roaches, and worms are commonly offered as food to your baby. Make sure the meal is significantly smaller than your spider before you begin, to guarantee their safety.

Tarantulas’ growth rates are maximized when they are fed frequently, which means they will molt more often. You may not have much warning time ahead of time, so be diligent and hyperaware of your spider’s behaviors and activities.

Stop the feedings when you see molting, and if there is still live or uneaten food in the enclosure, remove it right away until your spider develops new thicker skin.

Ingestion and Digestion of Prey

Tarantulas, like other spiders, can only consume liquids and are unable to digest their prey. As a result, a tarantula breaks the prey with sharp fangs, or chelicerae, injecting it with paralyzing venom after capturing a live meal. The teeth may also be used to crush the victim.

The tarantula produces digestive enzymes that liquefy the prey’s body once it has been immobilized. The spider’s straw-like mouthparts beneath its fangs then suck up the meal.

The absorption and digestion of liquids is enabled by a tarantula’s “sucking stomach.” The stomach balloons, producing a powerful vacuum that allows the tarantula to suck its liquefied meal into the intestines through the mouth when the swallowing stomach’s strong muscles squeeze.

The liquefied nutrients are digested into particles small enough to pass through the intestinal walls and enter the bloodstream once they reach the intestines.

In this manner, nutrients are distributed and taken throughout the body. The tarantula rolls up the prey’s corpse after it has been fed, forming a little ball.

Nocturnal Hunting

The tarantula does not make webs, unlike many spiders that do so. Instead, like bigger animals do on the ground, they hunt.

They are sensitive to vibrations, similar to other spiders species. The tarantula can detect when prey is nearby and when it is running by sensing vibrations in the ground, whereas other spider species utilize this ability to sense when the prey has gotten stuck in their web.

The spiders hunt mostly at night, which makes them nocturnal. This also implies that they are more active at night when kept as pets, and they are more likely to eat then.

Why Do Tarantulas Eat Their Mate?

You may only want to acquire one tarantula if you aren’t planning on breeding it. Males are often consumed by female spiders after and sometimes during mating sessions.

Female spiders may also begin eating the male before the sexual act, according to certain studies.

They clearly have aggressive genetic qualities, but why? is a question that many people wonder. Some scientists think it might be for evolutionary reasons, such as spider cannibalism being a nutritional benefit or a way to get rid of the population’s unattractive mates.