Hunstman spiders are carnivores. They eat various types of insects (cockroaches, crickets, flies, and others), invertebrates, as well as larger animals like arthropods, lizards, and frogs.
Huntsman spiders are known for their relentless predatory instincts and their agility. They’re one of the faster spider species as they don’t rely on their webs to catch food. They have one of the longest front legs among all spider species, allowing them to turn quickly and gain an advantage over their prey.
Foods that Huntsman Spiders Eat
These are the most common types of food that huntsman spiders eat.
The primary type of food for huntsman spiders will be insects.
Just like some other spiders that rely on other animals for food, huntsman spiders like anything that they’re able to catch with relative ease. This means they’ll go after smaller and slower insects that they can easily outwit and outrun.
Among the most common types of insects they eat include:
- Cockroaches – this is a particular favorite for the huntsman spider, as these animals provide some important nutrients for huntsman spiders. They can catch cockroaches quite easily thanks to their speed and faster instincts than the roach, and some pest control experts even discourage people from killing huntsman spiders where there are large populations of roaches.
- Crickets – crickets are also a good source of food for these spiders. The main reason is their availability, as crickets are often easily available in huntsman spider habitats all over the world.
- Ants – ants are also popular for huntsman spiders, although they see ants as snacks instead of full meals, as they prefer larger foods.
- Flies – huntsman spiders also sometimes go after flies, although they’re not as easy to catch as other insects. They’ll go after flies if they don’t have other insects around.
- Moths – huntsman spiders feed at night, and moths are one of the easiest available foods at that time of day. They’ll go after moths if they find the opportunity to do so.
- Other insects – these spiders are not afraid of going after other insects, especially if they find a good opportunity to do that.
Huntsman spiders like to eat anything they can find, including invertebrates that are easy to catch.
In this category, we can include some of the most common types of worms. These include wax worms and other smaller worms that are abundant in areas where huntsman spiders live.
To hunt these worms, huntsman spiders will sometimes create small burrows, which makes it easier for the spider to reach these worms. Alternatively, they will wait outside wormholes where they can ambush the worms if they come out.
For spiders, worms are a potentially good source of food because they possess a lot of valuable nutrients and will not offer much resistance when they are preyed on. The only problem is that these worms find themselves underground a lot of the time, so it’s not always a viable option for the spider.
3. Other Arthropods
Huntsman spiders are sometimes known for preying on other spiders – smaller spiders, in particular.
They’re faster and more agile than the vast majority of spider species, so they’re willing to take on other spider species and eat them. This will mainly happen if there are no other food sources around because most spiders have venom that can hurt the huntsman spider.
Their unique hunting style allows them to go after smaller and slower spiders. They’ll use the same hunting techniques as they do for other animals. The most important technique is ambushing their prey.
4. Lizards and Frogs
Huntsman spiders, like some other species of spiders (most notably the jumping spider), are able to hunt animals that are several times larger than themselves.
On the long list of animals that huntsman spiders eat are lizards and frogs. This includes mainly smaller lizards and frogs that these spiders can outrun. But most of the time when they go after these animals, they don’t need to do much running.
This is mainly because of their effective hunting style where they surprise their prey. This will save them quite a lot of time and effort that they would need otherwise.
After the target is caught, the huntsman spider will inject its venom into the target. This venom will then paralyze the target. And because there are also enzymes inserted with this venom, the targets will start to liquefy – it’s a process that might take days or several weeks before the animal is ready to be eaten.
Do Huntsman Spiders Eat Cockroaches?
Yes, huntsman spiders will eat cockroaches. In fact, it is one of the most preferred types of food for huntsman spiders.
That is primarily because cockroaches are a relatively easy catch. They don’t have strong defenses and they’re also not extremely agile, allowing the huntsman spider to pounce quite easily.
Sometimes, cockroaches will hide inside burrows and holes, which means that spiders have to find a way to get to the cockroaches. The spiders remain relentless, as they will also dig holes deep enough to gain access to the roaches.
If you have a cockroach infestation in your home, then it might be a good idea to let the huntsman spider do its job.
Do Huntsman Spiders Eat Birds?
It is not impossible to see a huntsman spider eating a bird – a smaller bird, in particular.
However, it is not the type of food that these spiders will go after regularly. The main reason for this is because birds are not that easy to catch, and they can only go after smaller or younger birds anyway.
In most cases, huntsman spiders will prefer to hunt baby birds that are not protected inside their nests.
Huntsman spiders are one of the most effective spider species when it comes to hunting down their prey. It is fast and agile, and it possesses a strong ability to conceal itself and surprise the prey. That’s why the diet of a huntsman spider is quite diverse.