How Do Spiders Drink Water? The Complete Guide


Spiders need to drink water in order to survive, but have you ever wondered as to how on earth they manage to do it? After all, have you ever seen a spider drinking some water to even then come up with an answer to that question?

Spiders drink by putting their front legs into the water source, and lowering their heads. Their mouths and fangs will be submerged below the surface, and they suck water up as though they were sucking through a straw. Spiders also get water from food, dew, and moisture on their web.

There’s a lot to think about in terms of how spiders drink, and how you can help the process. If you’re interested in the drinking habits of your tarantula, then we’ve got you covered.

I will talk about the drinking process in full detail, as well as some top tips from keeping your spider from getting dehydrated.

So, let’s get on with exploring this issue.

moisture droplets on a spider web with a spider

Spiders Get Some Liquid From Food

We can begin by stating that a spider is going to be able to get a lot of the liquid it needs to survive from the food it eats, but it cannot get 100% of that fluid.

However, if they eat, then it does stave off the thirst or the desperate need for them to grab a drink.

On the flip side, if they fail to eat enough food, then they must drink more water if they want to survive. This creates a sense of balance within them, so making sure your pet spider always has access to water is essential.

In saying that, they certainly do not need as much water as we do on a daily basis to survive. If we had to contend with most of our liquid intake coming from food, then we would suffer a great deal.

A spider doesn’t have to worry about that sort of thing.

Where Do Spiders Get Other Water From?

The answer here is simple, they tend to get it from the moisture that is around them.

You have to remember that we are talking about very small amounts of water, so a spider doesn’t have to worry about needing a large water source.

Instead, they can easily survive on those small droplets, as that’s enough to quench their thirst.

So, in the wild, that means they will get moisture from plants and other surfaces. This is either because of the rain, or even moisture in the way of morning dew. This dew will also land on their web, so they don’t even have to go far in order to get a drink.

But spiders are also very clever.

They will tend to hang around near water sources, if possible, but it’s got less to do with the water and more to do with prey.

They understand that a lot of their prey is going to be around water sources, so they set up home nearby, as this will increase the chances of them grabbing some food that inadvertently flies into their web.

How Would Your Pet Spider Get Water?

Talking about moisture on the ground and a web is fine for a spider in the wild, but how about your pet spider? Well, you need to be a bit different here in order to provide them with water.

Basically, you have two options.

First, you can add moisture to their enclosure. They will be able to get the moisture off the sides of their enclosure if and when required.

That may be enough for most spiders, but it’s not the only way in which you can provide them with water. Actually, what you can do is to provide them with a small water source.

Something as simple as a cap from a bottle filled with water is going to be sufficient.

One other point. If you have a larger pet Tarantula, then consider using something slightly larger than a cap. A very small bowl or dish would be perfect for this.

How Much Water Do Spiders Need?

How much water a spider needs is going to vary depending on the species.

Some could last for days without drinking while others wouldn’t last a day. The main thing is to always provide your pet spider with the opportunity of grabbing a drink when they need it.

If not, they will become dehydrated and could potentially die.

spider on a moist web

So, How Do Spiders Drink?

So, after getting to grips with everything else connected to water and your spider, now we get to how they actually drink.

Typically, when a spider feels thirsty, they will come up to the water source and will place their front legs and pedipalps either near the water or actually in the water.

So if you have a small bowl out for them, then their legs could be in the actual bowl. [Source]

Next, the spider will put the front part of its body down into the water. This part includes their mouth and fangs. Then, they will be able to grab a drink of water.

However, to get the water into their body, the spider has to engage various muscles which, in effect, draw the water up into its mouth.

To get a better idea, think about how you suck up liquid through a straw, and you are going to be doing almost the same thing as a spider.

Spiders Don’t Drink Fast

Considering you may have never witnessed a spider drinking, you may be surprised to discover that they are not particularly fast at drinking.

It will take them several minutes to do so, but a Tarantula could be there by a water source for over an hour. [Source]

This is all to do with the amount of liquid they can consume at any given time. It’s a slow process, so it does feel as if it drags on quite a bit for them.

How to Identify a Dehydrated Spider

So, how do you even know if your spider is suffering from the effects of dehydration? Well, there are a few clear signs to look out for.

First, they will appear smaller in size. They basically do shrivel up, in a certain way, and this is something that should be quite easy to notice.

Your spider may also come across as quite lethargic, and they will curl up to a certain extent with very little movement.

If they are really bad, then it may fall to you to give them some water. This is when they do not even have the energy to get to the energy source themselves, which they would do if they had any energy left.

To give your spider some water, it does require some patience and a bit of skill on your part.

You need either an eyedropper or a syringe. Take some water up into the syringe, and then turn your spider onto their back. There will be little in the way of resistance due to their lack of energy.

What you then need to do is to try to drop some of the water into their mouth.

Only do it one drop at a time, remembering that a spider does drink rather slowly, and watch as it sucks the water into its mouth.

Give it a short while to basically digest that drop before administering another. You may have to do three drops before turning your spider back over and placing them next to a water source.

Those three drops may be enough to get them moving once again, and they can then access the water on their own accord to then fully hydrate.

A Spider and Drinking Water

So, a spider drinks water using the same motion as we drink through a straw.

They get close to the water source, bend down closer to it, and then slurp the water in. They do drink little water, but need to increase the amount when they have gone a period of time without eating any food.

This is due to their reliance on getting liquid from whatever it is that they are eating.

If you own a pet Tarantula, and want to know what it’s like when they drink, then get up in the middle of night and check them out.

Don’t worry if you see them in the same position for over an hour without moving. It doesn’t mean they are ill, but rather they are having a great drink to set them up for the rest of their day.

Barry Gray

Barry is a freelance writer from Scotland. He has written about pets for over a decade, and his work has been turned into a range of ebooks, courses, and material for diplomas. Barry is passionate about all animals, but particularly dogs, fish, rabbits, birds and spiders. You can find out more about Barry at https://mercurypets.com/our-writers/

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