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LostInParadise's avatar

What do tiny spiders feed on?

Asked by LostInParadise (18297 points ) May 15th, 2014

The past few days I have been accompanied on my commute to work by a spider the size of a nail head. It is suspended from the windshield by a thread. I do not know what it is up to. It has not started spinning a web, though it is rather agile going up and down on the thread.

It got me to wondering what spiders this size and smaller feed on. Do they spin webs that can catch much larger insects? This spider would be able to dine on a housefly for a considerable amount of time.

I don’t imagine it is going to find anything in my car. I should probably repatriate it to the great outdoors, taking care not to squish it in the process.

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11 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Tiny insects.

LostInParadise's avatar

What tiny insects? The spider is about the same size as a fruit fly. How much smaller do insects get?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@LostInParadise Sure they get smaller. Have you seen the mites that live in bee’s breathing tubes? That’s pretty small.. The insect world is incredible in some ways.

GloPro's avatar

Other baby spiders. I think some are cannibals when they are born.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

Tiny people!?!

Coloma's avatar

Being a spider, it can ensnare something in its web bigger than itself and can bite it, inject venom to paralyze it and wait til it either exhausts itself first, struggling to escape the web then have a delicious meal. It’s a wrap. lol
Something like a baby jumping spider would rely on tiny gnats or other smaller insects it could pounce on.

wildpotato's avatar

It might be a baby spider, in which case it consumes leftovers of its egg sac until it graduates to the next instar.

ucme's avatar

They look up tasty recipes on the web

Coloma's avatar

@wildpotato Good point. Many other species like baby chicks, reptiles, and other newly hatched creatures absorb the yolk sac and do not need to feed for the first few days or week of their life.

LostInParadise's avatar

@Coloma , I thought of that and I wonder if it works out that way. Even if an insect is ensnared in the web, it can still fight back. Maybe the spider has to wait until the insect weakens sufficiently or dies from starvation.

Coloma's avatar

@LostInParadise I think so, wait until it is exhausted then pounce.
Dying of starvation though would defeat the purpose because the spider needs a juicy fresh bug with lots of body fluids so it can suck the life out of it. haha

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