The spider, an eight-legged, air-breathing arthropod, is a weird creature. It boasts more body parts and legs than insects. Spiders also have eight eyes, but surprisingly, some boast six or fewer eyes.
About eyesight, only a handful of spiders have great eyesight. Furthermore, spiders belong to the class of animals called arachnids. But then, not all arachnids are spiders.
Additionally, there are approximately 40,000 species of spiders out there, with the Brazilian Wandering spider the most venomous and deadliest spider.
So, you can see that there are various weird things to know about spiders. But first, let’s fix this question.
What do baby spiders eat?
Firstly, know that almost all the spiders in the world are potential predators. That is, they eat other animals. Most of the foods spiders consume or animals they prey on comprises insects, bugs, etc. However, some large spiders go after other exotic animals such as birds, frogs, etc.
So, what do baby spiders eat? Well, they derive their nourishment by consuming unfertilized eggs. It so happens that not all eggs laid by the female spider get fertilized. But even so, spiderlings consume them.
Furthermore, some species of spiderlings have a reputation for eating their mothers. And some adult spiders feed their babies with milk.
Alright, that’s the quick answer to the question. But there’s more, so keep reading.
Things Baby Spiders Can Eat
Hatchlings or spiderlings are a unique set of creatures. They’re unique in their feeding habit too.
Now, before we dive into other facts about spiders, let’s throw more light on the things baby spiders eat, for better understanding.
They eat their mother’s dead bodies:
Female spiders make a lot of sacrifices for their babies. According to a new study shed by National Geographic, some spiderlings comfortably eat their mothers.
An example of such spider species is the Stegodyphus Dumicola, fondly called the African social spider. These amazing species of spiders coexist in larger groups, share communal nests, including parenting duties, amongst themselves.
Another fact is, not all female species of the Stegodyphus Dumicola spider give birth to babies. Only approximately 40 percent of them do. However, spiders that weren’t able to give birth are called virgin spiders. And they play a crucial role in taking care of spiderlings birthed by other spiders.
Whenever the eggs hatch and the spiderlings emerge, the virgin female spiders, together with the mother, will have to produce a highly nourishing fluid, which they feed to each of the spiderlings via their mouth.
This feeding pattern can be very exhausting for the mothers and the virgin female spiders (spiders that aren’t able to give birth). It can lead to their death. And upon death, the spiderlings may start feeding on their mother’s and virgin female spider’s corpses.
A Handy Tip: The process in which spiderlings eat their mothers is called mother-eating or matriphagy. Other types of arachnids, including nematode worms and insects, exhibit this behavior, though it’s very rare.
They feed on tiny insects:
It’s strange but true; spiderlings are born with predatory instincts. And this explains why they also have a wide range of food choices.
From their first day as hatchlings, baby spiders can spin webs. These tiny creatures can spin enough webs to trap insects, though not as much as the matured spiders
A Handy Tip: The wolf spiders boast great eyesight and are agile hunters. Most of them don’t spin webs. But these spiders can move at great speed, a feature that makes them deadly predators. In fact, in the spider world, they’re the sprinters.
The wolf spider also encompasses a broad spider species, with most being athletic, dark-colored, and considerably large.
They feed on young millipedes and centipedes:
Please note that the mature or adult centipedes prey on spiders, soft-bodied insects, worms, and other arthropods. They wrap around their prey, bite and then inject them with paralyzing venoms.
But the baby spiders feed on young centipedes. They do so in their numbers and can use the young centipedes for hunting practice to sharpen their hunting skills.
Baby spiders feed on other spiderlings:
Cannibalism, a process where spiderlings feed on other spiderlings, happens amongst spiders. It’s common among the juvenile Redback group of spiders, which usually dwell in groups once hatched.
Some of these spiders can consume their siblings the moment they break out of the egg sacs. Cannibalism is also a trait inherited by these spiders, as it’s more prevalent in some Redback spiders than in other spider species.
A Handy Tip: Spiders, such as Pholcus phalangioides, feed on their kinds whenever food scarcity exists.
Baby spiders feed on breast milk:
Chinese scientists called Zhanqi Chen and his colleagues from the Chinese Academy of Sciences have made a shocking discovery, which involved female spiders feeding their babies with a liquid they secreted.
The big ant spiders were credited with this behavior, making it the first time invertebrates exhibited a trait peculiar to mammals, such as humans.
Upon birth, the scientists discovered that the baby spiders moved to their mother’s belly and were seen consuming certain liquid. When the scientists tested the liquid, they discovered it was breast milk, which boasts four times the protein present in cow milk.
The baby spiders depend on their mother’s breast milk for the first 20 days of their life, after birth. It’s also common for the spiders to remain with their mother in the same nest, even after attaining maturity.
So, the big ant spider, Toxeus magnus, feeds their young ones with breast milk. But they don’t have mammary glands as mammals do.
A Handy Tip: Offspring or spiderlings of the Toxeus magnus spider dies within the first ten days of life without their mother’s breast milk. Additionally, most spiderlings usually continue drinking milk from their mother’s breast even after attaining sexual maturity.
Does Breast Milk Attract Baby Spiders?
Even though the Toxeus magnus spider is a fan of their mother’s breast milk, it doesn’t mean they fancy breast milk from other animals or even humans. Breast milk is sweet and boasts a great smell.
However, if you find spiders lurking around an area where you have breast milk spilled all over, keep in mind that they likely didn’t come around because of the breast milk. Instead, they’re there to hunt for other foods.
Insects and a range of pests fancy breast milk. So, chances are you’ll find them lurking around whenever you have spills of breast milk in your kitchen or anywhere in your home. But if you find spiders, keep in mind that they’re there to feed on the bugs and insects, not the breast milk.
A Handy Tip: Even though spiders do not fancy breast milk, it’s important to get rid of milk stains on the ground, table, or countertop. The reason is that milk attracts insects and other pests, which happens to be a delicacy for spiders.
The point is it’s unwise to allow spiders to thrive in your home, as some species can cause serious harm to your kids. The problem with spider bites is that there are numerous species out there. Thus, it’s difficult to identify the one that has bitten you sustained when rushed to a hospital for treatment.
Do Baby Spiders Fart?
There are tons of understudied subjects regarding spiders, and one of such is spider’s flatulence. Though it hasn’t been scientifically proven, there’s a huge chance that spiders do fart.
The reason spiders fart is because of the bacteria present in their stercoral sac. The breakdown of liquid foods in the stercoral sac by these bacteria can cause spiders to fart.
Spiders may also swallow air when consuming liquid foods, which may cause them to fart.
So, what do baby spiders eat? You can see there’s a wide range of food options for baby spiders. They can consume insects, young centipedes, mother-eating, or breast milk.
However, not every species of baby spider consumes breast milk. It’s also the same thing with the mother. Not all adult spiders produce breast milk. Only the Toxeus Magnus, the big ant spider, produces breast milk, which contains four times the protein present in cow milk.