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Can a spider poison itself?

Discussion in 'True Spiders & Other Arachnids' started by arachnophobespiderkeeper, May 17, 2017.

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    hey! so i'm watching my spider, and she has a small dish of water in her tank thats a simple pop bottle cap. she tends to drink a lot, so i have it in there. today I refilled it and some of the water splashed a bit. She then slowly approached it and started biting it, as if it was a threat. While I found this a bit cute, im a bit worried as well.

    She may be releasing her venom into the water (due to her biting the very edge of the cap, it would drip down into the water)

    If her venom mixes with the water, and she then drinks it, would she get sick and or die? as if she was attacked by another one of her species? im not sure. Some help would be appreciated!​
  2. The Snark

    The Snark هرج و مرج مهندس Old Timer

    In a word, no. The simple answer is all venomous animals that use the venom to acquire food have developed, evolved, immunity alongside the venoms evolution. Venoms are nearly all simply complex proteins that a digestive system, given enough time, can adapt to. The animal unavoidably ingests some venom with the nutrients consumed.

    Note this applies only to venoms entering the animal through the digestive system. Entering through other means, injection or absorption through the skin as example, it often or usually is as toxic as if used on a different species.
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
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  3. Thank you for the information! I felt a bit silly asking because I figured, but the last thing I'd wanna do is hurt my spider because of my own incompetence.

    I'm assuming that the water would dilute it enough that if she stepped in it, or got it on her, it wouldn't hurt her either, so I'm gunna assume shes all good!
  4. The Snark

    The Snark هرج و مرج مهندس Old Timer

    An interesting point. The general rule with most invertebrates is they are more or less waterproof. That is, water isn't very wet. For example, note how difficult it is to knock a fly or mosquito out of the air with a hose. The water droplets bounce off the animal. The same applies to water sources. The surface tension has to be broken by the mouth parts before the animal can get a drink.
    The entire reason why soap works is it is a surfactant that breaks down the surface tension. Ordinary soap has no cleaning properties, it only enables your skin to get wet.