How to Tell if Your Tarantula is Dying

If your tarantula is dying, you might notice the following signs:

  • Your tarantula will be weak and unable to move properly or at all
  • It will start curlings its legs underneath its body
  • The abdomen will look shriveled
  • There might be fluids leaking from the abdomen

The average lifespan of a tarantula is between 15 and 25 years, but some tarantulas have lived much longer than that. The oldest tarantula is known to have reached 43 years of age.

How to Tell if Your Tarantula is Dying

Sometimes, it is easy to mistake the signs of dying with the signs of molting. You’ll learn all about that in this article.

How to Tell if Your Tarantula is Dying?

If your tarantula is dying, it will appear sluggish, unable to move, and it will start curling its legs underneath its body.

The curling of the legs is one of the most common signs that your spider is about to die. Once the tarantula dies, it will lie flat on its abdomen and its legs will start to curl under the body.

It can be difficult to tell if your tarantula is just molting or it is dying. A good way to tell that is to determine the age of your spider – if your spider is already old and it is showing the signs that it is dying, then it is likely dying.

These are the most common signs that will help you determine if your tarantula is dying.

Below are a range of signs to look out for:

1. Weakness and Inability to Move

If your tarantula is not moving around as much as it usually does, and if its body appears to be close to the ground, then something is off. It might be because your tarantula is dying.

Normally, healthy tarantulas will dart around and move quickly, and they will have a lot of energy. But if your spider is not moving around much or at all, then you might start to think that something is wrong.

But don’t panic just yet, because it might just be another health problem. Sometimes, tarantulas will also appear sluggish after a molt. A good way to tell if your tarantula is dying or if it just molting is to look at the colors – if they are not as vivid as usual, then it might be because the spider is molting.

Also look for other signs that might tell you if your tarantula is dying, such as:

  • Loss of appetite and thirst
  • Lethargy
  • Not moving around
  • Legs and abdomen shriveling

On the other hand, if you notice a duller coloration, bald patches, and if the abdomen appears to be larger, then your tarantula might be molting instead.

2. Legs Curling Under the Body

One of the most common symptoms of a dying tarantula is its legs that will start to curl underneath its body.

This curling is also known as the “death curl”, and it is common to see that happen to all tarantulas, as well as many other spiders out there.

Even though the legs curling under the body might be a symptom of severe dehydration, this sign is likely a sign of a dying tarantula. 

You will need to make sure that your tarantula is dying and it is not suffering from another condition, though. If you notice other symptoms that we’ve talked about here, then you will know for sure that your tarantula is dying.

If you suspect your tarantula is dehydrated instead, you can try providing it with some water, but know that it might not work if your tarantula is dying, and .

3. Shriveled Abdomen

If the abdomen of your tarantula appears to be shrunken or shriveled, then that is a surefire sign that something is seriously wrong with your spider.

In most cases, this sign is a symptom of upcoming death. However, it might also indicate other health problems for your spider, such as dehydration that we’ve talked about earlier.

On the other hand, if your spider is molting, the abdomen of the spider will appear swollen instead. This is one of the easiest ways to tell if your tarantula is only molting or dying – by looking at the abdomen.

If your tarantula is only molting, you’ll also likely spot bald patches and discoloring on the body of the tarantula.

4. Leaking Fluids

White pus leaking from the abdomen of a tarantula is another sign that your tarantula is about to perish.

This fluid is called hemolymph, and it is often leaking if your tarantula has hurt itself while climbing or falling.

If your tarantula has had an accident, then you will likely see this fluid coming out of its abdomen or other parts of its body.

But there is some hope if you notice this symptom – you can use superglue to glue the leaking parts of the spider’s body. But this method will only work if your spider has fallen or injured itself. If the other symptoms of death are also present, then there’s not much you can do about it, likely.

What To Do if Your Tarantula is Dying?

If you notice any of the signs we’ve discussed above, the first thing you need to do is rule out other potential factors that might cause these signs.

The most common things that people mistake the tarantula death with include:

  • Molting
  • Dehydration
  • Injuries from falls and mishaps
  • Other diseases

Make sure that you notice if there are some symptoms that we’ve discussed above. If you notice any other signs, then there might be something else wrong with your spider.

The best thing to do if you’re unsure is to take your tarantula to your nearest vet.


A dying tarantula is a sad sight. You’re losing your loyal pet of many years after all. The most common signs that your tarantula is dying include a shrunken abdomen, inability to move, loss of appetite, and legs curling underneath its body.

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