Can you overfeed a spider?

arachnophobespiderkeeper

Arachnosquire
Joined
Apr 21, 2017
Messages
54
So I have a Eratigena atrica and I recently got small crickets for her. I see some people saying to feed her a cricket a week, but so far shes managed to devour a cricket yesterday and one today as well. Shes eaten one today, is it safe to give her another? I assume if she wasn't hungry she'll just leave it alone. Would it be safe to put one in with a bit of egg carton so it doesn't harass her and she can grab it whenever?

I just dont know what exactly to do or how often to feed her. Her abdomen has gotten significantly bigger, but she still walks around fine and seems happy.

 

Ungoliant

Malleus Aranearum
Staff member
Joined
Mar 7, 2012
Messages
3,826
I just dont know what exactly to do or how often to feed her. Her abdomen has gotten significantly bigger, but she still walks around fine and seems happy.​
Routinely overfeeding a spider so that it is perpetually obese may shorten its lifespan. (I don't know if this has actually been studied.) Otherwise, the risks to a web dweller are small, since they aren't likely to fall onto a hard surface.

I don't feed my true spiders on a set schedule. I just go by how fat they look.
 

arachnophobespiderkeeper

Arachnosquire
Joined
Apr 21, 2017
Messages
54
Routinely overfeeding a spider so that it is perpetually obese may shorten its lifespan. (I don't know if this has actually been studied.) Otherwise, the risks to a web dweller are small, since they aren't likely to fall onto a hard surface.

I don't feed my true spiders on a set schedule. I just go by how fat they look.
ah alright! im not quite sure how to tell if my spider is obese though? shes a bit fat right now but her abdomen was pretty damn tiny when i found her.
 

Ungoliant

Malleus Aranearum
Staff member
Joined
Mar 7, 2012
Messages
3,826
ah alright! im not quite sure how to tell if my spider is obese though? shes a bit fat right now but her abdomen was pretty damn tiny when i found her.
In time, after observing spiders in nature and keeping your own, you get a sense of what is normal-looking. (Sorry I can't be more specific.)

If you look at pictures of "wild" Eratigena atrica, that can give you some baseline (captive spiders are usually a little fatter than wild ones, and mature females have proportionately bigger abdomens than mature males):
 

GingerC

Arachnosquire
Joined
Feb 10, 2017
Messages
117
Due to their ectothermic metabolism, spiders and other arthropods go through their life cycle faster and thus die sooner if you feed them more frequently. There aren't any true health threats from overfeeding, except that a thicc abdomen can restrict movement, blood flow, and breathing in some species if they are drastically overfed.
 

chanda

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Jun 27, 2010
Messages
2,060
A fat abdomen in a female spider isn't always indicative of obesity. Frequently it just means that she's gravid. Even unmated spiders will lay eggs - it's just that the eggs won't hatch - but if she was wild-caught as an adult, there's a pretty good chance she's already mated.
 
Top