Spiders that eat other spiders include house spiders, daddy-long-legs, wolf spiders, jumping spiders, tarantulas, huntsman spiders, pirate spiders, and several others. These spiders will feed on other spiders when other foods are not available, or as part of their mating ritual.
Spider cannibalism and eating other spiders are not uncommon. Many spider species resort to spider cannibalism when other food sources are unavailable.
As such, cannibalism can be seen in many spider species, and even among closely related species. It has also been observed that females will feed on males when mating.
Let’s look at some spiders that commonly eat other spiders for food.
Spiders that Eat Other Spiders
1. Common House Spider
The common house spider will eat other spiders if there is no other food available.
Common house spiders are competent predators, and use their excellent eyesight and strong silk to hunt. House spiders wait for unsuspecting prey to become ensnared in their web before quickly moving in to attack.
If it finds itself without a web to catch prey, the common house spider will set out to hunt down prey with its excellent hunting skills. It can catch insects, moths, mosquitoes, flies, and even other spiders that it finds around the house and yard.
Daddy-Long-Legs sometimes eat other spiders. They are very good at hunting down smaller spiders.
Daddy long-legs are some of the most commonly seen spiders in the world. They will lurk in corners of our homes and wait for insects to get caught inside their webs. But sometimes, they might go through a food shortage, so they will turn to other food sources instead.
It’s not uncommon to see small spiders get stuck inside a web of a daddy long-leg spider. Some of these spiders can get really big and can catch other spiders that are their own size.
The web of a daddy long-leg spider is made in such a way that it both protects the spider and enables it to catch other species while the web is set up.
Read More: What Do Daddy Long Legs Eat?
3. Wolf Spider
Wolf spiders eat other spiders. The wolf spider is one of the best spiders in the world when it comes to hunting down other spiders and insects. After mating, the female wolf spiders (which are much larger than the males) will often consume their mate.
Female wolf spiders often attack and eat their mate after mating. Research has shown this is much more common when the male is much smaller and thus an easier target for the female.
They are excellent at finding and catching their prey, owing to their ability to stand on their back legs to improve their range of vision.
The wolf spider is known to catch most of the insects that are near the ground while actively hunting for them. They are also very good at catching other spiders, especially when they are in search of food.
Wolf spiders have six eyes which help them hunt down all types of prey. They have one of the best eyesight systems among all spiders out there, which will allow them to see other spiders and potential prey very easily.
Wolf spiders prefer to go after smaller spiders, but they might also sometimes catch larger spiders thanks to their exceptional hunting skills, as well as a fairly potent venom that allows them to catch other spiders.
Go Deeper: Do Wolf Spiders Eat Other Spiders?
4. Jumping Spiders
Jumping spiders are master assassins, often hunting and preying on other spiders using their long-distance jumping ability to surprise their prey.
The jumping spider will hunt by actively seeking out prey. They are good at hunting on their own, unlike some other spiders that only use webs to trap victims.
The jumping spider will actively seek out prey, but can also be very quick when it has to. It moves quickly to catch its prey of choice. It moves around the web of the spider quickly to trap its prey of choice.
The jumping spider does not have venom but instead relies on its six eyesight systems to hunt down its prey. It also has the capacity to pounce on its prey, which allows them to catch its prey off-guard when it’s not prepared for the attack.
Jumping spiders prefer to hunt smaller spiders and other spiders that remain stationary, so they don’t have many difficulties jumping onto the spider of their choice.
Tarantulas will sometimes hunt other spiders when they are hungry. They are known to catch other spiders that are both larger and smaller than them. Tarantulas will sometimes even go after other tarantulas, but will usually go after whatever prey is easiest for them to catch.
The tarantula will bite first, effectively paralyzing the spider it’s trying to catch. The venom will paralyze the target and make it unable to move. After that, the spider will try to drag its prey into its burrow or home, where it will finish the job by finally letting the prey liquefy, and then it will consume it.
Read More: What is the most Venomous Tarantula?
6. Huntsman Spiders
Huntsman spiders are exceptional hunters. They feed mostly on insects, but may sometimes eat smaller spiders too. They are also known to eat other spiders that are their own size.
The huntsman spider has hairy legs that help it climb rocks, ceiling corners, and even the side of buildings.
The huntsman spider is known to have a large number of tarantula tarsi, which are the little hairs on their legs. They are also known to have good eyesight systems for hunting down prey, so they can hunt down their prey with great accuracy, making them one of the best hunting spider species in the world.
7. Pirate Spiders
Pirate spiders hunt and eat other spiders by trickery. Pirate spiders deceitfully pluck on the webs of other spiders, tricking them into thinking they have caught a meal, and luring them over to investigate. When the unwitting spider comes to collect their meal, the pirate spider attacks and eats them.
When a pirate spider is able to find a spider that has a web, it will choose to hang out in the web. This allows them to catch prey without going out into the open.
This way, they’ll be able to capture other spiders that are both larger and smaller than them. The pirate spider will wait for prey that is trapped instead of hunting in the open like a huntsman spider.
Spider cannibalism is a relatively common occurrence. Several spiders catch other spiders, including common house spiders, daddy-long-legs, to some spiders that are better hunters such as wolf spiders.
Stuart is the editor of Fauna Facts. He edits our writers’ work as well as contributing his own content. Stuart is passionate about sustainable farming and animal welfare and has written extensively on cows and geese for the site.