When Do Spiders Hibernate?
Spiders are invertebrates that have evolved a number of mechanisms to survive the colder months of the year. These methods include hibernation, diapause and the creation of an antifreeze compound.
Hibernation involves the reduction of metabolic activity and production of glycerol, a chemical that acts as a natural antifreeze. It also allows spiders to survive without food for several days or even weeks.
Diapause, on the other hand, is a lighter form of hibernation. In this state, spiders remain in a dormant state for several months. They seek out quiet, secluded spaces, and they slow down their body temperature and digestion rates.
The main reason for hibernation is to save energy. Spiders can survive months or years without food, and they can withstand harsh winters. However, prolonged starvation could lead to their demise.
Another way spiders survive the winter is by creating an insulating nest. This cocoon-like structure is built in a secluded area. Webbing is then used to seal the nest.
There are several types of spiders that hibernate, including the fishing spider, which builds a protective webbing to protect its body from freezing temperatures. Also, the tarantula, which spends almost the entire winter inside its burrow.
Some spiders do not hibernate at all. Others are ectothermic, meaning they are able to regulate their body temperature in response to changes in the weather. Other spiders are not ectothermic, but still manage to find ways to adapt to changing conditions.