A tarantula can survive several weeks and months without food, and possibly up to a year or even longer.
A tarantula is a slow-growing species, meaning that it doesn’t have strict dietary needs like most other species that are required to eat regularly.
Tarantulas are capable of extracting the right nutrients to survive from water, so they’ll need access to water even if they’re kept without food for longer periods. How long a particular tarantula can go without food will depend on its husbandry, species, gender, age, and overall health condition of the tarantula.
How Long Can a Tarantula Live Without Food?
Tarantulas are able to survive several months and up to two years without having regular access to food.
So if you’re a tarantula owner and you’re planning a long trip away, you should not worry too much about food if you’re only away for a couple of days. But even if it’s a longer stay of about a few weeks, you can still be sure that a tarantula would be able to survive without food.
However, if you have a young tarantula or if it’s recently shed, then its dietary needs will be different. It will need food much more regularly and more frequently than a fully adult tarantula. Because the young spider is still growing, you should aim to feed your tarantula at least once a few days if not more frequently.
But for the majority of adult tarantulas, food will not be a huge problem. The only thing you need to make sure is that your tarantula has enough water to survive and sustain itself, and that might just be enough for it to survive for several months or even years.
Some tarantula owners have reported that their tarantulas were able to survive without food for several months or even years. Fasting is typical of the pre-molting period and there’s nothing unusual if your spider decides not to eat for several months in that period.
Related: How often do Spiders Eat?
How Do Tarantulas Survive Without Food?
Spiders can survive without food for several months because they are able to extract humidity from water sources, so it’s essential that you leave them with a good water source if you intend to be away for several weeks.
Tarantulas don’t require many nutrients to keep themselves going. The most important nutrient, however, is water. With water, they get many essential nutrients.
Additionally, spiders also have a relatively slow metabolic system for their size, and up to 50% slower than other species of the same size as the tarantula. This means that their food will take longer to process, which means that just one meal may take several days to be digested in a spider’s body.
Some studies have shown that the larger the animal is and the more frequently it eats, the faster the metabolic system will be since it will need to process more food over a longer period of time
Another thing that lowers the need for spiders to eat is the fact that they’re carnivores. And carnivores eat less frequently since they potentially get more nutrients from meat than herbivores do from their plant-based diet.
Because they’re carnivores, tarantulas are also able to catch their own food even if you don’t feed them yourself. So it might be a good idea to leave your tarantula out in the open while you’re away, as it might be able to sustain itself just by eating the insects that it will find in your home but make sure that it’s not able to escape.
Can Tarantulas Die of Starvation?
Yes, they can technically, but the likelihood of that happening is very low.
If you own a tarantula, then you’ve probably taken good care of it in its lifetime, and if it’s fed properly, then it will not have problems surviving for up to two years without food. It does not happen very often and especially not for tarantulas that are kept as pets.
However, the question is whether tarantulas are able to survive long without food in the wild?
This might happen in case of famine when there are not many food sources around, but it will not happen very often. Tarantulas are very resourceful and are able to find food for themselves even when it seems as though there are not many opportunities to do that. They’re very opportunistic and will seek food in places that other animals might not look.
The most important thing for their survival is still having access to a water source. Spiders and tarantulas, in particular, like to create burrows near a water source. Even though they don’t create webs in the traditional sense of the word, they can still create silk lines that are meant to warn the tarantula that prey is close.
Tarantulas also get humidity from the water and might get enough nutrients from that source alone. In case they don’t have many food sources around, tarantulas will resort to drinking water and ingesting the humidity from that water source, which might keep them satiated enough to help them survive for long periods of time, even without eating.
How Long Do Young Tarantulas Survive Without Food?
Younger tarantulas can last several weeks or months without food, which is much less than adult tarantulas.
Younger tarantulas need to eat more often, especially because they’re still growing, meaning that they need more nutrients to keep growing. Additionally, young tarantulas molt more often, which forces them to replace their nutrients on a regular basis.
This means that young tarantulas are only able to survive without food for a few weeks or months at most.
MORE TARANTULA GUIDES:
- Guide to Communal Tarantulas
- List of the Most Venomous Tarantulas
- List of the Most Docile Tarantulas
- Tarantula vs Other Spiders – Key Differences
- Are Tarantulas Reptiles?
- Do Tarantulas Need Water?
Tarantulas are resourceful animals. They can survive without eating for very long periods of time, and some owners have reported their tarantula has survived for up to two years without eating.