What kind of animals eat spiders?


The greatest enemy of spiders, aside from frightened human beings, might be other spiders. Even some web-weaving spiders, such as cellar spiders in the family Pholcidae, can leave their own webs to stalk other spiders in their webs. Thread-legged assassin bugs in the family Reduviidae patiently approach spiders in their webs and then nab them lightning-fast with their vise-like front legs. Giant tropical “helicopter” damselflies hover in front of spider webs and pluck the spider off. Mud dauber wasps tug on spider webs to mimic an entangled insect, then grab the spider and sting it into paralysis. The immobile spider is then stored in a nest as food for the wasp’s offspring. Huge, colorful “tarantula hawk” wasps tackle the largest of spiders. Other wasps called ichneumons will lay a single egg on a spider and the wasp larva that hatches then slowly eats the spider alive. Still other insects are parasites or predators of spiders in all life stages. Mantidflies in the family Mantispidae develop as larvae inside a spider egg sac, eating all the spider’s eggs. Even human beings eat spiders intentionally. Some native peoples in South America hunt giant tarantulas and fry them. The spiders are considered a crunchy delicacy. Other mammals, like shrews, coatimundi, meerkats, and grasshopper mice also eat spiders regularly. So do reptiles, especially lizards. Birds not only eat spiders, but will use spider silk in making their nests.

Additional Questions

General Spider Questions


Spider Webs

Spider Bites