What Do Jumping Spiders Eat?


Are you the proud parent of a pet jumping spider? Then you’re probably pretty curious about what they eat. After all, while it can be fun to keep spiders as pets, at the end of the day you still have to provide them with the right diet so they can stay healthy.

In fact, their diet is one of the most important factors when taking care of these spiders. If jumping spiders aren’t getting the right nutrients they won’t be able to function correctly which can be life threatening.

Understanding the diet of jumping spiders is especially important for newly pet owners. By studying what these spiders eat, you can ensure that they are receiving a nutritious diet that meets their dietary needs.

So in this article we have laid out everything you need to know! From what they eat, what they daily intake is, what size prey is suitable, and alot more!

So, What Do Jumping Spiders Eat?

Jumping spiders are known as carnivorous, which means that they predominantly feed on insects to obtain all the nutrients they need to survive.

Jumping spiders typically require a specific diet, However, they can eat a variety of insects as long as they are not larger than 1.5 times the size of the spider itself.

This means that they generally hunt and feed on smaller prey items, such as:

  • Fish
  • Grubs
  • Isopods
  • Springtails
  • Small millipedes
  • Fly larvae
  • Mealworms
  • Crickets
  • Cockroaches

Nutritional Value Of Their Prey

Different insects offer varying levels of nutritional value to jumping spiders. Here is a table that details the nutrient values from some common jumping spider prey items:

PreyProtein (g)Fat (g)Carbohydrates (g)Vitamin (mg)Mineral (mg)
Fly larvae6.405.

It’s clear from the table that many of the insects that jumping spiders eat can provide them with the necessary protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals they need to thrive.

Precautions To Take

When it comes to the size of their prey you need to be very careful, especially with crickets or mealworms, as these can be dangerous to jumping spiders when they are in the sensitive phase of molting.

These insects may injure or even kill your spider! Therefore, it’s necessary to avoid feeding your spider during their molting process.

Once they have gone through the molting process, then of course, they can eat the occasionally cricket or mealworm.

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Jumping spider eating

What Do Baby Jumping Spiders Eat?

Baby jumping spiders consume more prey than adults. Though small insects are the prey, babies consume insects exactly like adults do.

Even though they are primarily carnivorous, young jumping spiders also consume nectar, making them omnivores. For very young baby jumping spiders, Drosophila fruit flies are the best prey.

However, it’s very important to remember that they require a lot of protein to grow and develop properly. When they are young jumping spiders are very active and need a lot of energy to keep up with their rapid growth.

This is why you need to provide them with a variety of insects that are high in protein and other essential nutrients.

Some of the best insects to feed baby jumping spiders include:

  • Wingless fruit flies
  • Pinhead crickets
  • Small mealworms
  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • Aphids
  • Springtails

You also need to consider their size! baby jumping spiders are very small and delicate even small an the adults, so it is important to feed them appropriately sized prey. As mentioned, feeding them larger insects can be dangerous and even deadly.

Should You Feed Jumping Spiders Live Or Dead Insects?

So at this point, you’re properly thinking if a jumping spider can get injured by its prey why not feed it to them dead right? Well, there’s a good reason for this, not mention, that it’s one of the most common questions asked by new pet owners. So let’s compare them both below…

Live Insects

Many spider owners choose to feed their pets live insects, because it is more natural and stimulating for the spider.

Jumping spiders are active hunters and love stalking and catching their own prey. By providing live insects, you’re giving them the opportunity to engage in their natural hunting instincts.

However, more importantly live insects are more potent in terms of nutritional content, which can lead to healthier growth and development for the spider.

Dead Insects

The other option is to feed your jumping spider pre-killed insects. This can be more convenient and hygienic, as you won’t have to worry about any escaped insects in your home. Additionally, pre-killed insects can be easier to portion and store for future feedings.

However, the problem with this is dead insects are not as nutritionally beneficial as live insects, as many of the nutrients can begin to deteriorate after death.

Also, dead insects don’t move which is unnatural for jumping spiders, who are accustomed to catching their prey in motion. As a result your jumping spider may not eat the dead insect which can have a impact on their health.

If you want to know, we have written a whole article on this very topic called: Will (And Do) Jumping Spiders Eat Dead Insects?

How Often Do Jumping Spiders Eat?

Jumping spiders are known for their voracious appetite, and they eat frequently to maintain their energy levels. The frequency of their meals depends on several factors, including their age, size, and activity level.

Generally, adult jumping spiders feed every few days, while younger spiders may require daily meals to support their growth and development.

In captivity, it’s essential to provide jumping spiders with a consistent source of food to ensure their health and well-being.

Feeding them once or twice a day is usually sufficient, but it is essential to monitor their weight and behavior to ensure they are getting enough to eat.

What Happens If Jumping Spiders Don’t Eat?

Jumping spiders, like all living creatures, need food to survive. If they don’t eat, they will eventually become weak and eventually die.

In some cases, jumping spiders may stop eating due to stress, illness, or environmental changes. When this happens, it’s important to take action to help the spider regain its strength.

Here are some things that can happen if jumping spiders don’t eat:

  • 1. Weight Loss: Jumping spiders that don’t eat will lose weight quickly. This is because they are not getting the nutrients they need to maintain their body weight. If a jumping spider has lost a significant amount of weight, it may be a sign that it’s time to take action.
  • 2. Weakness: Jumping spiders that don’t eat will become weak over time. This can make it difficult for them to move around and hunt for food. If a jumping spider appears weak or lethargic, it may be a sign that it’s not getting enough food.
  • 3. Death: If a jumping spider doesn’t eat for an extended period of time, it will eventually die. This is because its body will not have the energy it needs to function properly. It’s important to take action if a jumping spider stops eating to prevent it from dying.
  • 4. Unable To Molt: jumping spiders undergo a process called molting, or shedding of their exoskeleton, in order to grow. During this process, jumping spiders need to consume a sufficient amount of food to store the necessary nutrients for the development of a new exoskeleton. If a spider doesn’t consume enough food or stops feeding altogether, they won’t have enough nutrients to complete the molting process properly.

Do They Eat Their Own Species?

Jumping spiders, like most spider species, are known to be cannibalistic in certain circumstances. As they are carnivorous creatures, they rely on other insects as their primary food source.

However, when it comes to eating their own species, it’s not always a straightforward answer.

Cannibalism Among Jumping Spiders

Cannibalism among jumping spiders is relatively common, especially when there is limited access to food or high competition for resources.

While some sources suggest that males are generally more prone to eat their own kind, cannibalism isn’t limited to one gender or stage in life.

Prey size, prey availability, population density, and even mating status can also contribute to cannibalistic behavior in jumping spiders.

Cannibalism In Jumping Spider Breeding

In some cases, cannibalism is a natural part of the breeding process, and it is necessary for the female’s survival. After mating, female jumping spiders may eat their mate to obtain important nutrients needed for the development of eggs.

This phenomenon, known as sexual cannibalism, is believed to increase the chances of successful reproduction and survival of offspring.


So there you have it. Now you know what to feed to your pet jumping spider. If you found this article helpful feel free to check out our other articles! We have a whole category about jumping spiders there you can find more helpful contents.

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