Is Burrowing Beneficial?


Old Timer
Sep 18, 2002
I posted this a while back on another thread:

I've watched my G. Pulchra sling burrow and rearrange things, and it strikes me as rigorous mental and physical exercise for the spider. I would tend to think that it's better for the spider to exercise like this than to do nothing - but perhaps I'm inappropriately projecting human actions and benefits onto spiders.

If you took two groups of identical spiders and put one group in cages where they couldn't burrow, and another group where they not only could burrow, but were forced to rebuild their burrows every few months, I wonder which one would live longer, and have less morbidity.


Old Timer
Jul 19, 2002
I can't say for sure since I'm no expert, but I don't think exercise is high on a spider's list of priorities. Burrowing seems to be more of a security thing for them. They seem to stress out majorly if they want to burrow but can't. (Like H. Lividum with a half inch of soil.)


Old Timer
Sep 27, 2002
As for phsyical, from what little I understand of spider muscular systems, I don't think I can answer the exercise question properly.

However, behaviorally, I've seen two specimens in my keeping that proved the point of stressing to me. My Rose hair, first off was a maniacal fiend, thrashing about all day, and lashing at everything in sight. Now that she's got a nice 7 inch deep burrow, she only lashes out like a psychotic monster when I open the lid. Secondly, I recently picked up a WC H. lividum. Within ten minutes of getting home I'd prepared a 5 inchish deep tank of peat for her, and gotten it warm and moist. After the initial fun of getting her in there, she paced alot, and literally crapped in my direction. 8-9 hours later, I woke up for a 3 AM bathroom trip, to see her completely submerged with a nice new burrow. No more craziness when I go near the tank or pick it up.

I try to give all of my terrestrials the opportunity to burrow. So far, the only one that hasn't is the B. smithi, but that's likely because it's got a nice large cave to hide in. The others all have cork bark or nothing but a water dish.

Of All my T's, Arboreal or not, only my 1" versicolor feels no reason to hide. It's never not out in the open, on top it's cork bark perch.


Old Timer
Oct 26, 2002
i only have one rosea at the moment with a piece of cork bark and about 1 1/2 inches of peat but i've never seen her go in there - she must go in there cuz i found poo in there but i've never seen her in there. she spends all of her time on top of her cork bark and only comes down to get a drink. i will be getting a pet pal to replace the glass tank eventually and then i'll put a bit more substrate in there to see if she wants to burrow.