Tarantula Feeding Habits

Tarantula Feeding Habits – Explore all Tips and Tricks here

Welcome to our comprehensive guide to tarantula feeding habits. As a tarantula owner, it’s important to understand their diet and feeding behavior to ensure their health and well-being. In this section, we will provide expert tips and insights into all aspects of tarantula feeding habits, including the spider diet and feeding habits of pet tarantulas.

Tarantula Feeding Habits

From understanding what tarantulas eat to how they feed and the factors that can affect their feeding habits, we’ll cover it all. You’ll learn about providing a suitable feeding schedule for your pet tarantula and how to prepare their food to meet their dietary needs. You’ll also gain insights into the challenges of feeding pet tarantulas and how to overcome them.

By the end of this section, you’ll have a comprehensive understanding of tarantula feeding habits and be equipped with the knowledge to ensure your pet tarantula remains healthy and happy.

Key Takeaways:

  • Understanding tarantula feeding habits is crucial for the care and well-being of your pet.
  • Tarantulas have a diverse diet that requires a balanced approach to ensure they receive all the nutrients they need.
  • Establishing a feeding schedule is essential for maintaining the health and development of your pet tarantula.
  • Feeding challenges such as refusal to eat or difficulties in prey capture can be overcome with practical solutions.
  • Overfeeding can lead to health problems in tarantulas, such as obesity and digestive issues, but portion control and a balanced diet can prevent this.

What Do Tarantulas Eat?

Tarantulas are fascinating creatures known for their carnivorous feeding habits. Understanding their food preferences and prey selection is crucial to ensure your pet tarantula receives a nutritious diet. In this section, we will delve into the diet of tarantulas and what they commonly consume in their natural habitat, as well as in captivity.

Tarantula Prey Selection

Tarantulas are opportunistic hunters, nocturnal hunters and will consume a variety of prey in their natural habitat. Their prey selection may vary depending on their size, habitat, and hunting technique. Common tarantula prey includes feeder insects, arachnids, small mammals, and reptiles.

When it comes to feeding pet tarantulas, it is important to replicate their natural diet as closely as possible. While most tarantulas are willing to eat crickets, or dead crickets their food preferences may differ depending on the different species. Some tarantulas may prefer mealworms, dubia roaches, or even mice. A female tarantula has a more stocky body than a male and is covered in a light brown or tanurticating hairs. Female tarantula hawks actively hunt tarantulas, stinging them and paralyzing them. 

Tarantula Food Preferences

Researching your specific tarantula species and their food preferences is crucial to ensure they receive a balanced diet. Some tarantulas may have specific dietary requirements, and feeding them the wrong types of food may result in health issues.

Additionally, it is important to offer fresh, high-quality food to your tarantula. Always ensure that the food you provide is free from pesticides and other harmful chemicals. Avoid feeding your tarantula wild-caught insects, as they may carry diseases or parasites.

Preparing Tarantula Food

Proper preparation of tarantula food is vital to provide your pet with adequate nutrition. Feeder insects should be gut-loaded with nutritious food before feeding to ensure they are healthy and nutritious for your tarantula. Some tarantula owners also choose to offer a variety of prey to provide their pet with a balanced diet.

If you are feeding your tarantula live prey, ensure that the prey is an appropriate size and not too large for your tarantula to consume. Large prey can be dangerous, as it may injure your tarantula during the capture or feeding process.

Table: Examples of Tarantula Prey

Prey TypeCommonly Eaten by Tarantulas
InsectsCrickets, mealworms, roaches, grasshoppers, dubia roaches
ArachnidsScorpions, other spiders
Small MammalsRats, mice, small birds
ReptilesLizards, snakes

Overall, understanding the food preferences and prey selection of nocturnal hunters is crucial to maintain a healthy and happy pet. Research your specific tarantula species and provide them with fresh, nutritious food to ensure they receive proper nutrition. With appropriate feeding habits, your tarantula will thrive in captivity.

Tarantula Feeding Schedule

Establishing a consistent feeding schedule is essential for the health and well-being of your pet tarantula. Tarantulas should be fed on a regular basis to ensure that they receive adequate nutrition and maintain proper weight. The feeding frequency will depend on the tarantula’s species, age, and size, as well as their natural feeding habits. As a general rule, adult tarantulas should be fed every 1-2 weeks, while juveniles and spiderlings may require more frequent meals.

To determine the appropriate feeding schedule for your pet tarantula and adult tarantulas, it’s essential to research their specific species and consult with a veterinarian or experienced tarantula keeper. Some different species may have unique feeding requirements or preferences that should be taken into consideration.

Factors affecting Tarantula Feeding Schedule

Several factors can influence the frequency and timing of adult tarantulas feeding. These include:

  • Season: some tarantulas may eat more frequently during the warmer months and less frequently during the winter.
  • Molting: before and after molting, tarantulas may not have an appetite or be unable to eat due to their vulnerable state.
  • Age and Size: younger and smaller tarantulas require more frequent meals than adults.
  • Health: sick or stressed tarantulas may not be interested in eating or may require special diets.
Tarantula Feeding Schedule GuidelinesTarantula Age/SizeFrequency
Adult TarantulaFull SizeEvery 1-2 weeks
Juvenile TarantulaHalf to Full SizeEvery 5-7 days
Spiderling TarantulaNewly hatched to Half SizeEvery 2-3 days

It’s important not to overfeed your pet tarantula, as this can lead to health problems such as obesity and digestive issues. If your tarantula refuses to eat, don’t force them, as this can cause stress and harm. Instead, try offering a different type of prey or adjust the feeding schedule accordingly. With proper care and attention, you can maintain a healthy feeding routine for your pet tarantula and ensure their long-term well-being.

tarantula feeding schedule

How Tarantulas Feed

Tarantulas have fascinating and unique feeding behaviors. Their prey selection process, capture techniques, and consumption methods contribute to their remarkable survival abilities. Understanding how tarantulas feed is essential for responsible pet ownership and appreciating these captivating creatures.

Before feeding your pet tarantula, it is crucial to understand their feeding behavior. Tarantulas are ambush predators that rely on their extraordinary sense of touch, sight, and taste to locate and capture prey. They have a remarkable ability to detect the slightest movements and vibrations, allowing them to identify and track potential prey.

When a tarantula spots its prey, it will make a sudden move, grabbing its victim with lightning speed. Tarantulas use their pedipalps to secure their prey and inject venom, which immobilizes the prey and aids in the digestion process.

The tarantula then uses its chelicerae to crush and macerate the prey, turning it into a liquefied form that can be easily consumed. The tarantula’s digestive system is highly efficient, allowing them to extract essential nutrients from their food and leave behind the indigestible parts, such as shells and exoskeletons.

It is essential to note that tarantulas do not chew their food. Instead, they use digestive fluids to break down their prey, turning it into liquid form for easier digestion. As such, it is crucial to provide appropriate prey size and ensure that it is not too large for your pet tarantula to consume.

Feeding Habits in the Wild vs. Captivity

In the wild, tarantulas typically feed on insects, small rodents, and other small animals. Their diet varies depending on their geographical location, with some species preying on larger animals such as lizards and birds.

However, in captivity, tarantulas are commonly fed on a diet of insects such as crickets or mealworms. It is crucial to provide a varied diet to ensure your pet tarantula receives a balanced nutritional intake.

Additionally, feeding habits in captivity can differ from those in the wild. Some pet tarantulas may refuse to eat or display irregular feeding patterns due to stress or health issues. As such, observing your tarantula’s feeding habits is essential for detecting any potential issues and ensuring their well-being.

Common Tarantula PreyDescription
CricketsCommonly used in captivity, nutritious and easy to source.
MealwormsAnother popular option for feeding pet tarantulas, high in protein and readily available.
RoachesAn alternative prey option that is also nutritious and affordable.

“Observing your tarantula’s feeding habits is essential for detecting any potential issues and ensuring their well-being.”

Overall, understanding the feeding behavior of tarantulas is vital for responsible pet ownership and appreciating these fascinating creatures. By providing a varied and balanced diet and observing your pet tarantula’s feeding habits, you can ensure their health and well-being.

Preparing Tarantula Food

It’s important to provide appropriate food for your tarantula to ensure their well-being. Understanding their food preferences is essential to maintain a healthy diet. Tarantulas are primarily carnivorous, and their diet consists of live prey such as insects, crickets, and sometimes small rodents.

When choosing food for your tarantula, ensure it is of high quality and safe for them to consume. Avoid feeding them wild-caught prey as these may carry parasites or diseases that can harm your pet. It’s recommended to source food from reputable pet stores or breeders.

You can also provide variety in their diet by including occasional treats such as mealworms or waxworms. However, these should be offered sparingly as they are high in fat and can lead to obesity if overfed.

Food TypeFrequency
Cricket2-3 times per week
CockroachOnce per week
LocustOnce per week

It’s also important to note that tarantulas have different food preferences, and some may prefer certain types of prey over others. Observe your pet’s feeding behavior and provide food that they actively hunt and consume. Read More on Best Feeder Insects for Tarantulas.

Factors Affecting Tarantula Feeding

Tarantulas have unique feeding habits that can be influenced by several factors. In this section, we will explore the environmental and physiological factors that may impact their appetite and feeding behavior. By understanding these factors, you can create an optimal habitat and provide suitable conditions to encourage healthy feeding habits in your pet tarantula.

Environmental Factors

The environment in which a tarantula lives can significantly impact its feeding habits. Temperature, humidity, and lighting are essential conditions that need to be met to ensure a healthy appetite and digestion in your pet tarantula.

A tarantula’s feeding behavior can be affected when the temperature is too high or too low. Extremely high temperatures can lead to dehydration, while lower temperatures can cause the tarantula’s metabolism to slow down, resulting in a lower appetite.

Humidity is also a crucial factor that affects tarantula feeding habits. Tarantulas require a specific level of humidity to maintain their health and well-being. High humidity levels promote healthy molting, while low humidity can cause dehydration and difficulties in digestion.

Lighting is another essential factor to consider when creating an optimal environment for your pet tarantula. Tarantulas are generally nocturnal creatures, and excessive lighting can disrupt their natural feeding behavior, leading to loss of appetite.

Physiological Factors

Tarantulas’ physiological processes can also affect their feeding habits. The digestive system of tarantulas is relatively slow, and their appetite may reduce during the digestion process. Therefore, it is essential to refrain from feeding them during this period to prevent overfeeding.

Molting is a natural process that can also affect the feeding habits of tarantulas. Before molting, a tarantula’s appetite may reduce, and they may refuse to eat. It is essential to avoid feeding them at this time as it can lead to digestive issues, which may impact the molting process. After molting, a tarantula may experience increased appetite, requiring more food to support the growth of a new exoskeleton.

feeding habits of tarantulas


Environmental and physiological factors can significantly impact the feeding habits of tarantulas. Creating an optimal habitat and providing suitable conditions while understanding their physiological processes can encourage healthy feeding habits and promote their well-being.

Feeding Challenges and Solutions

While pet tarantulas generally have hearty appetites, there may be times when they refuse to eat or exhibit difficulties in prey capture. These challenges can stem from a range of physiological, environmental, or behavioral factors. Here are some common feeding challenges and solutions to help you ensure the health and well-being of your pet tarantula:

Refusal to Eat

If your pet tarantula stops eating or shows a decreased appetite, it may indicate an underlying health issue or environmental stress. Here are some possible causes and solutions:

Possible CausesSolutions
Stress from handling, environmental changes, or lack of privacyMinimize handling, maintain a consistent environment, and provide hiding spots for privacy
Illness or injuryConsult with a veterinarian or expert to assess and treat the underlying issue
Pre-molt phaseReduce feeding frequency or cease feeding altogether until the molting process is complete

It’s essential to monitor your pet tarantula’s feeding behavior closely and seek professional advice if you suspect there is an underlying health issue.

Difficulties in Prey Capture

Tarantulas use a range of techniques to capture and subdue their prey, but sometimes, they may face challenges in this process. Here are some possible causes and solutions:

Possible CausesSolutions
Weak or injured preyRemove the prey and provide a healthier alternative
Lack of appetite or interest in the preyOffer a different type of prey or try feeding at a different time of day
Prey too large or aggressiveOffer smaller prey or pre-kill the prey to reduce its aggressiveness

It’s essential to ensure that your pet tarantula has appropriate prey options and that the prey is of suitable size and health for consumption.

With proper care and attention, most feeding challenges in pet tarantulas can be overcome. If you’re unsure about how to address a specific feeding issue, consult with a veterinarian or expert to ensure the health and well-being of your pet tarantula.

Overfeeding and Health Risks

Overfeeding is a common issue that can lead to health problems in tarantulas. It’s important to maintain a balanced diet and portion control to prevent obesity and digestive issues. Signs of overfeeding may include a swollen or distended abdomen, difficulty moving, or lethargy.

To avoid overfeeding, it’s recommended to feed your tarantula one appropriately sized prey item per feeding. The size of the prey should be no larger than the tarantula’s body, as consuming prey that is too large can lead to digestive problems. It’s also important to consider the frequency of feedings and adjust as necessary based on your tarantula’s appetite and metabolism.

Providing a diverse and balanced diet can also help prevent overfeeding and ensure proper nutrition for your tarantula. Offer a variety of prey items, such as crickets, dubia roaches, and mealworms, to meet their dietary needs.

“Overfeeding can lead to health problems in tarantulas, such as obesity and digestive issues.”

It’s essential to monitor your tarantula’s feeding habits and adjust their diet as needed. If you suspect your tarantula may be overeating or experiencing health problems related to diet, consult a veterinarian with experience in exotic pets.

Feeding Tips for Pet Tarantulas

Feeding pet tarantulas can be a unique and exciting experience. However, providing proper nutrition and care is essential for their well-being. Here are some expert tips and recommendations to ensure your pet tarantula stays healthy and happy:

  • Offer a Balanced Diet: Tarantulas require a balanced diet of protein, vitamins, and minerals. Feed them a variety of prey, including crickets, roaches, and mealworms, to ensure they receive all the necessary nutrients.
  • Avoid Live Prey: While tarantulas can consume live prey, it’s not recommended. Live prey can potentially injure or stress out your tarantula. Instead, offer pre-killed prey to ensure a safe and stress-free feeding experience.
  • Don’t Overfeed: Overfeeding can lead to health issues such as obesity and digestive problems. Feed your tarantula appropriately sized prey once or twice a week, depending on their species and age.
  • Provide Water: Tarantulas also need access to fresh water, which they can obtain from a shallow dish or sponge. Ensure the water is clean and changed regularly to prevent bacterial growth and mold.
  • Consider Food Enrichment: To stimulate your tarantula’s natural feeding behavior, you can add enrichment items to their enclosure. Try placing prey in a puzzle feeder or hiding it in different locations within their habitat.
  • Observe Feeding Habits: It’s important to observe your tarantula’s feeding habits regularly. If they refuse to eat or show signs of illness or stress, consult with a veterinarian or experienced tarantula keeper for advice.

By following these tips, you can ensure your pet tarantula receives the proper nutrition and care they need to thrive. Remember to always research and understand the feeding habits of your specific tarantula species and consult with experts when needed to ensure their well-being.

Tarantulas and Molting – Feeding Considerations

Tarantulas molting, a natural process of shedding their exoskeleton as they grow. During molting, tarantulas are highly vulnerable and require careful attention to their feeding habits. Molting can be stressful for tarantulas, and a lack of proper nutrition during this critical phase can lead to complications.

It is essential to adjust your pet tarantula’s diet during molting to ensure they receive the necessary nutrients to support a successful molt. Tarantulas may show a decrease in appetite or refuse to eat altogether during this time.

It is recommended to reduce the frequency of feeding your tarantula and offer smaller portions of food. Avoid feeding tarantulas with hard exoskeletons, such as beetles, during molting, as they can be challenging to digest.

Feeding your tarantula after molting can also be challenging, as they require a softer diet to aid in the growth of their new exoskeleton. It is recommended to offer soft-bodied prey such as crickets or mealworms to aid in the molting process.

As always, provide a clean and suitable environment for your pet tarantula during molting, allowing them to feel safe and secure while they shed their exoskeleton. Read more on Reasons of Tarantula Molting.

Feeding Considerations During Molting

Consider these feeding tips during the molting process:

  • Reduce the frequency of feeding
  • Offer smaller portions of food
  • Avoid hard-bodied prey
  • Provide soft-bodied prey after molting

“Molting can be a stressful time for tarantulas, and providing appropriate nutrition is key to ensuring they have a successful molt.”


As you can see, understanding tarantula feeding habits is crucial for the care and well-being of these fascinating creatures. By exploring their diet, feeding behavior, and feeding schedule, you can provide your pet tarantula with the nutrition they need to thrive in captivity.

Feeding Tips for Pet Tarantulas

Expert recommendations can help ensure your pet tarantula receives the best possible care. Consider providing potential treats and enrichment ideas to stimulate their natural feeding behaviors. Remember to maintain a healthy feeding routine and environment, and your tarantula will reward you with their remarkable presence.

Tarantulas and Molting – Feeding Considerations

Tarantulas undergo molting, a natural process of shedding their exoskeleton as they grow. Adjusting their diet during this crucial phase is crucial, so gain insights into feeding considerations before, during, and after molting to support a successful molt for your pet tarantula.

Overfeeding and Health Risks

Overfeeding can lead to health problems in tarantulas, such as obesity and digestive issues. To prevent these health risks in your pet tarantula, discover guidelines for portion control and maintaining a balanced diet.

In conclusion, following expert tips and recommendations can ensure that your pet tarantula receives a balanced diet and thrives in captivity. By maintaining a healthy feeding routine and providing a suitable environment, you can enjoy the remarkable presence of your tarantula for years to come.


What do tarantulas eat?

Tarantulas are carnivorous creatures that commonly consume insects and other small arthropods in the wild. In captivity, they can be fed a diet of live or pre-killed prey, such as crickets, mealworms, and roaches.

What is the recommended tarantula feeding schedule?

The feeding frequency for tarantulas can vary depending on their species, age, and size. Generally, adult tarantulas are fed once every 1-2 weeks, while younger ones may require more frequent meals. It is important to monitor their appetite and adjust the feeding schedule accordingly.

How do tarantulas feed?

Tarantulas use their fangs to inject venom into their prey, immobilizing it. They then use their pedipalps, specialized appendages near their mouth, to manipulate and tear apart the prey before consuming it.

How should I prepare tarantula food?

Preparing tarantula food involves providing live or pre-killed prey that is appropriately sized for your tarantula. Ensure that the prey is healthy and free from pesticides or any other harmful substances. It is also important to remove uneaten prey from the enclosure to prevent any potential health issues.

What factors can affect tarantula feeding?

Several factors, such as temperature, humidity, stress levels, and molting, can affect a tarantula’s feeding habits. Ensuring that the tarantula’s habitat is suitable and providing a stress-free environment can help promote healthy feeding behavior.

What should I do if my tarantula refuses to eat?

If your tarantula refuses to eat, it is important to assess its overall health and environment. Stress, illness, or environmental factors could be causing the refusal. Consult with a veterinarian or experienced tarantula keeper for guidance on how to address the issue.

What are the health risks of overfeeding tarantulas?

Overfeeding tarantulas can lead to obesity, digestive issues, and other health problems. It is important to provide a balanced diet and control the portion sizes to prevent these risks. Regular monitoring of your tarantula’s weight and body condition can help prevent overfeeding.

Any tips for feeding pet tarantulas?

When feeding pet tarantulas, it is best to offer prey that resembles their natural diet in terms of size and species. Variety in prey and occasional treats, such as small insects or pinkie mice for larger tarantulas, can provide enrichment. Additionally, observing their natural feeding behaviors can be a rewarding experience.

How should I adjust the feeding routine during molting?

Tarantulas may refuse to eat before and during the molting process. It is important not to force-feed them during this time, as it can be detrimental to their health. After molting, wait for the tarantula to harden and fully recover before resuming regular feeding.

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