Do Jumping Spiders Really Eat Dead Insects? 4 Astonishing Facts


One of the most important things when owning a jumping spider is their diet! And feeding them the wrong foods can be unhealthy, and cause problems later on down the road.

Many pet owners know that feeding spiders “live insects” can be a huge benefit. However, one question that’s often asked, “especially by new owners” is whether or not, jumping spiders can eat dead insects.

The short answer is yes! jumping spiders will eat dead insects. However, its important to note that dead insects don’t provide the same nutrition as “live prey” and some may refuse to eat them altogether!

Do Wild Jumping Spiders Eat Dead Insects?

Wild jumping spiders “Salticidae“ are known to be fierce hunters, but when it comes to feeding, do they opt for fresh prey orwill there eat dead prey?

Studies have suggested that jumping spiders do, in fact, consume dead insects in the wild. While this may be surprising, it makes sense considering the unpredictable nature of hunting and the need for sustenance.

When it comes down to it, jumping spiders are opportunistics, and will take full advantage of any available food source, including insects that are dead. Here’s why…

  • Limited resources: In some areas, jumping spiders may have limited access to live prey due to environmental factors like drought or cold temperatures. Eating dead insects can help them survive when other food sources are scarce.
  • Lack of mobility: As jumping spiders age, they become less mobile and may not be able to hunt for live prey as easily. Eating dead insects is an easier way for them to get the nutrition they need in order to survive.
  • To supplement their diet: Sometimes when a jumping spider catces a insect they will not eat it stright away. Some will accally save it for later at which point the insects will be dead. However, this helps the spider supplement their diet, and reduce competition from other spiders in the area.

So while jumping spiders may eat dead insects, they will only do this if they are hungry enough.

Should You Feed Dead Insects To Your Pet Jumping Spider?

If you have a pet jumping spider, you may be wondering if it’s okay to feed them dead insects.

Well, if you have an endless supply of live prey, then its recommended that you feed your pet spider live insects as it provides the most nutrition.

However, if you don’t have access to live prey, small amounts of dead insects (dried insects) can supplement their diet as an alternative.

But, as before, live prey is generally “recommended” as the preferred food choice for jumping spiders.

Another thing to consider is the amount of dead insects to feed your jumping spider! As before, dead insects don’t supply enough nutrition as live insects, and feeding them too many can be harmful.

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Jumping spider eating a dead insect

Dangers Of Feeding Your Jumping Spider Too Many Dead Insects

As we said, at the start of this article, feeding your jumping spider dead insects, here and there, is completly fine. However, you should beware of the potential dangers it poses if you feed them too much.

  • For starters, Overconsumption of dead insects can lead to a lack of essential nutrients and overall poor health for your jumping spider.
  • Dead insects can also harbor harmful bacteria and parasites that can further harm your spider.
  • When they consume dead prey, they miss out on the essential nutrients that live insects provide. This can lead to difficulties during moulting, a crucial process for spiders to grow and develop.
  • If a spider is malnourished due to a diet of dead prey, it may struggle to shed its old exoskeleton and grow a new one. This could result in stunted growth or even death.

Can All Spiders Eat Dead Insects?

Yes! Some spiders can feast on the carcasses of dead insects? However, while some spiders are capable of consuming dead insects, others rely solely on live prey to survive.

Like the jumping spider, some can eat dead prey now and then, but they soloy rely on live prey to get all the nurtients they need to survive.

If you want to read more about this topic, you should find this article helpful: Can spiders eat dead insects there we talk more other species of spiders, not just jumping spiders.

Insects That Are Safe To Eat

Jumping spiders are known to eat a variety of insects, however, when it comes to feeding your pet spider, you should always make sure that the insects you are offering are safe for them to eat.

Live Prey

Live prey is always recommended when feeding your spider, but the problem people have, especially beigners, is knowing what type of insects are safe for jumping spider to eat!

So below is a list of the most common kinds of live insects that are safe for jumping spiders to eat:

  • Flies
  • Crickets
  • Roaches
  • Mealworms
  • Wax worms

Any one of these insects listed above are perfectly safe and healthy for your jumping spider. We do recommend that you feed them a verity of insects and not just the same species, this way they get all the nutrients they need.

You should also avoid feeding your jumping spider any wild-caught insects as they may contain parasites or other harmful organisms that could be dangerous to the health of your spider.

Dead Prey

As mentioned before, dead insects can be used to supplement your spider’s diet if you have limited access to live prey. However, you will want to make sure that the dead insects are not contaminated with any harmful chemicals or pesticides.

The safest option would be to feed them dried insect food that is designed specifically for spiders and other arachnids. This way you know exactly what type of nutrients they are getting!

The two insects we recommend are:

  • Waxworms
  • Crickets

Unfortunately, other insects like dead flies wouldn’t provide is much nutrients as the two above! And its important to make sure your pet spider is getting all the nutrients they need to survive.

Factors That Can Affect Their Diet

Species Of Jumping Spider

Different species of jumping spiders have varying diets. While most jumping spiders are carnivorous, some species include nectar and pollen in their diet.

For example, the Habronattus species is known to feed on flower nectar and pollen in addition to insects. On the other hand, the Salticus scenicus species is known to feed primarily on flies.

Age And Gender

The age and gender of jumping spiders also play a role in their diet. Younger spiders require more protein in their diet, while older spiders may eat less or have a broader diet.

Additionally, female jumping spiders may have different dietary needs than males, especially during mating season when females require more energy to produce eggs.

Availability Of Prey

The availability of prey in a jumping spider’s habitat also affects their diet. If a particular food source is prominent in one area, then the jumping spiders there will adapt to eat it.

For example, if there is an abundance of flies in an area, jumping spiders in that area may feed primarily on flies. However, if the availability of prey changes, jumping spiders may switch to other food sources.


So yes, jumping spiders can eat dead insects, however, its not recommended if you have plenty of live prey at your disposal. If your ever in doubt remember to contact your local pet shop as they can advise you on what to do.

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