Do Spiders Eat Woodlice?


Do Spiders Eat Woodlice? When it comes to a spider’s diet, you might think that it’s just as simple as scrounging for any food and eating whatever they can get their legs on in order to stay alive. However, the truth is much more complicated than that.

In fact, most people think of them as having a mostly insect-based diet, but spiders actually feed on a wide range of diverse meals! From plants and small animals to other spiders and even fish depending on the type of spider!

But, what about tiny bugs like woodlice? Would a spider eat one? And most importantly, will it benefit them health-wise?

The short answer is yes, spiders do eat woodlice! In fact, there is one species in particular that primarily feeds on woodlice, and that’s the (Dysdera crocata) woodlouse spider”.

There was actually a study performed in 2003 on the woodlouse spider, and they found that woodlice make up 97% of this spider’s diet.

Are There Any Other Spiders That Eat Woodlice?

While the Woodlouse Spider (Dysdera crocata) is the most well-known spider species that specializes in hunting woodlice, other spiders have been known to eat woodlice.

However, these spiders don’t exclusively feed on woodlice as the Woodlouse Spider does. In fact, most spiders will avoid eating them if there’s plenty of prey to go around.

Does Woodlice Offer Any Nutritional Value To Spiders?

According to a study mentioned on NCBI, woodlice is considered a poor prey for some spiders due to their apparent low nutritional value. However, this doesn’t stop certain spiders from consuming them. The Woodlouse Spider, is a good example, of this!

But, while the exact nutritional content of woodlice as prey isn’t specified in these sources, insects, in general, are known to be packed with animal protein, beneficial fats, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and prebiotic fiber, according to Edible Insects.

Can You Feed Spiders In Captivity Woodlice?

If you’re considering keeping a spider in captivity, it’s important to know what types of food items are safe and nutritious for them to eat. While it may seem like a good idea to feed spiders woodlice, this is not recommended.

Woodlice may be a common prey item for spiders in the wild, but they can carry parasites that can be harmful to captive spiders. Additionally, woodlice is not particularly nutritious and won’t provide all of the essential vitamins and minerals that a spider needs to thrive.

Because of this, it’s always best to stick to commercially available foods, that are specifically formulated to meet a spider’s nutritional needs.

Alternatives To Woodlice

There are numerous alternatives to woodlice that can be used as food for captive creatures such as spiders, reptiles, and birds. Here are a few options:

  • Crickets: These are a popular choice for many pet owners due to their high protein content and availability. They’re also easy to breed if you want to maintain a constant supply.
  • Mealworms: These are another excellent source of protein and are particularly loved by reptiles and birds.
  • Waxworms: These worms are high in fat, making them a good choice for adding variety to your pet’s diet or for fattening up underweight pets.
  • Grasshoppers: are another excellent source of protein and are also a natural part of many spiders’ diets in the wild.
  • Locusts: Mentioned in the search results as a popular live food option, locusts are nutritious and enjoyed by a variety of creatures.
  • Fruit Flies: These tiny insects are ideal for smaller creatures or juvenile pets.
  • Dubia Roaches: These are becoming increasingly popular due to their high protein content and the ease of breeding them at home.

When feeding your spider always remember, to provide a varied diet to ensure your pet is receiving all the nutrients they need.


So while woodlice are a specific dietary choice for certain spiders, they may not be the most nutritionally rich option for other spiders, especially those in captivity.

In the end, always stick to what you know, if you are unsure, or are worried about your spider’s health feed it prey that is high in proteins mentioned in the list above.

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