what do tarantulas eat

Best Food for Tarantulas – Tarantulas Feeding

In this article you will find the answer of Best Food for Tarantulas? Tarantulas are carnivorous arachnids that hunt and feed mostly on live prey. They feed on a variety of insects, including crickets, grasshoppers, moths, centipedes, and other spiders. Tarantulas have the ability to inject venom into their prey with their fangs, so they can incapacitate and consume their food. In captivity, tarantulas are commonly fed live insects such as crickets, cockroaches, and mealworms. 

Best Food for Tarantulas

In the wild, tarantulas are opportunistic feeders, so they will feed on whatever prey is most readily available. This includes other spiders, lizards, snakes, frogs, and even small birds. 

When kept in captivity, tarantulas can also be fed pre-killed prey. These foods should be dusted with calcium and vitamin supplements before being offered to the tarantula. It is important to provide enough food for the tarantula, but it should not be overfed, as this can lead to health issues.

Types of Tarantulas 

Web-building tarantulas 

Web-building tarantulas are an arachnid that is known for their intricate webs and for the way it uses them to catch their prey. These tarantulas are usually found in tropical and subtropical areas, such as South and Central America, Africa, and parts of Asia. They are also found in some parts of the United States. Web-building tarantulas have an impressive lifespan that can range from 15 to 20 years, and they can grow to be up to 8 inches in length. These tarantulas are typically light to dark brown in color with white or gray striping.

Ground-dwelling tarantulas 

Ground-dwelling tarantulas are a type of tarantula that lives in burrows or other underground shelters. These tarantulas are usually found in areas with warmer climates and are often found in deserts, tropical rainforests, and areas of South America and North Africa. Ground-dwelling tarantulas typically have a shorter lifespan than web-building tarantulas and can live up to 10 years. They are usually a dark brown or black color with a light to the dark brown pattern. These tarantulas can grow up to 6 inches in length and are known for their speedy movements.

Tarantula Diet 


A tarantula’s diet primarily consists of insects. This includes crickets, grasshoppers, moths, and other small insects. Tarantulas also have strong mandibles that allow them to bite through the exoskeletons of their prey. They also have excellent senses of smell and taste, allowing them to locate their food in the wild. Tarantulas typically hunt for food at night, when their prey is most active.

Other arthropods 

In addition to insects, tarantulas also feed on other arthropods such as spiders, centipedes, and scorpions. Tarantulas are opportunistic predators and will not hesitate to hunt and consume any other arthropod they come across. Tarantulas have been known to consume other tarantulas as well.

Small mammals, reptiles, and amphibians

While insects and other arthropods are the primary components of a tarantula’s diet, they have also been known to feed on small mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. Tarantulas have been observed preying on mice and lizards, as well as frogs and toads. Although these animals may not be a tarantula’s primary diet, they have proven to be an occasional meal.

Challenges in Feeding Tarantulas

Size of prey 

One of the main challenges in feeding tarantulas is the size of prey they require. Tarantulas typically feed on insects such as crickets, roaches, and other small arthropods, but they can also feed on larger prey such as lizards or small rodents. Some species of tarantula can consume prey up to twice their size. It can be difficult to find and provide larger prey items for tarantulas, and in many cases, the prey must be specially ordered from exotic pet stores.

Variety of prey 

Another challenge in feeding tarantulas is providing variety in their diet. Tarantulas are opportunistic feeders and will eat whatever prey is available, but they are more likely to thrive if they are given a variety of food items. This can be difficult for owners who are limited to what is available in their local pet store. Additionally, feeding live prey can be challenging, as some tarantulas may be shy or aggressive and may need to be coaxed into eating. Providing a variety of frozen prey items can help to make sure that the tarantula is getting a balanced diet.

Benefits of providing a diverse diet to tarantulas

The benefits of providing a diverse diet to tarantulas are numerous and should not be overlooked. A varied diet is essential for maintaining the health and vitality of these captivating creatures. One of the primary advantages of offering a diverse diet to tarantulas is the provision of essential nutrients. A variety of food sources ensures that the tarantula is receiving the vitamins and minerals necessary for growth and development. Feeding only one type of food can lead to nutrient deficiency and poor health. 

A diverse diet also encourages the tarantula to explore its environment and develop new behaviors. Another benefit of providing a diverse diet is that it can help to prevent boredom. Tarantulas can become easily bored with the same food sources, leading to apathy and lethargy. Offering a variety of food not only adds interest but also encourages the tarantula to forage. This foraging behavior is natural and beneficial for the tarantula’s physical and mental health. Finally, providing a diverse diet can help to reduce the risk of over-feeding. 


Feeding too much of one food type can lead to obesity, an issue that can have serious health implications. A varied diet ensures that the tarantula is receiving a balanced amount of food and nutrients. In conclusion, the benefits of offering a diverse diet to tarantulas are numerous. A variety of food sources ensures the provision of essential nutrients, helps to prevent boredom, and reduces the risk of over-feeding. Providing a diverse diet to tarantulas should be a priority for all owners.

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