A spider’s diet may not be what you expected it to be. Most people think that spiders drink and eat solid food, but that’s not true. Instead, they live on a liquid diet.
Spiders rely on water to maintain their health. The chelicerae, or mouthparts, on the front of the spider’s body help it suck up fluids. The muscles of the chelicerae act like straw. This process helps them to suck up the liquefied insides of prey.
Some spiders suck up plant sap or nectar. Others pierce a leaf with their chelicerae and then suck the juices out. Other spiders also eat seeds and fungal spores.
Most spiders have a foregut, or digestive tract, where food is stored. Some spiders actually cover their prey in digestive juices. This keeps the food from drying out.
The amount of water a spider needs to drink varies, depending on the type of spider. Smaller spiders need a sip every now and then, while bigger species can stay hydrated for several hours.
Most species of spiders will hang around water sources. They can get their moisture from dew drops on the web, from other surfaces, and from their food. Sometimes they can even suck up water from humidity in the air.
Some species of house spiders will live for a few months without eating. They are able to survive this way because they have specialized tissues called nectaries that contain moisture. Providing a clean, sanitary water dish for your spider is essential.