If you have a pet tarantula, you will probably already be aware that they can last for surprisingly long periods of time without eating, and that might lead you to wonder “how long can a tarantula live without food?” Tarantulas, like most spiders, must catch their own food to survive, and they have therefore evolved to cope well without eating for weeks at a time, ensuring their survival even if they are struggling to catch a meal. These spiders grow very slowly and do not expend much energy in daily life, allowing them to survive well without eating a lot.
Tarantulas are also capable of getting some of the nutrients that they need from water, so if a tarantula is unable to eat but is able to get a drink, it can last for longer without food. A tarantula that doesn’t have a source of water will die quite quickly, so it is important to make sure that your pet always has plenty to drink, especially if you will be away for a few days. Don’t leave it with an empty water dish or assume it will be fine because it has food; it must have water available.
If you’re thinking of going on vacation and wondering how to make sure your tarantula is fed, you may not need to, depending on the length of the vacation. As long as it’s healthy and has been well fed before you leave, it might be fine without a meal until you return.
How Long Can A Tarantula Live Without Food?
There is no single answer to how long a tarantula can live without food, because it depends on many different factors, including what species of tarantula it is, how quickly it grows, and the conditions that it is kept in. Some of the slow growing species of tarantula, such as G. roseas, can last for up to two years without eating, whereas some of the faster growing species may only manage a few months. How well fed the spider is before the period without food will make a big difference, too, and the spider’s age can also play into this calculation.
In general, a healthy tarantula can live for a good few months without eating, and some will manage between six months and a year or even two years without consuming anything, although they must be able to drink plenty of water. If your tarantula is fasting, you may want to check that the tank conditions are correct, as tarantulas will refuse to eat if they aren’t being kept in the correct environment, and this could be dangerous.
Don’t panic if your tarantula has gone for a few weeks, or even months without eating. This is nothing to be too concerned about, and the tarantula is likely to be fine. Keep offering it food and remove any uneaten food from the tank to keep the conditions suitable.
How Do I Tell If My Tarantula Is Hungry?
If your tarantula is hungry, it will probably come to the edge of its web or burrow and sit on the entryway, with its feet on the outside. Tarantulas assume a hunting stance, which you will soon come to recognize, and although they may do this when they are only a little hungry, it’s usually an indication that they are ready to eat. However, you shouldn’t feed your tarantula every time that it sits in the hunting position, as many will do this as soon as they have finished their last meal; they are opportunistic feeders and will grab food whenever it is available in many cases.
You will need to feed them based on an approximate schedule, and pay attention to the size of their abdomen. If your tarantula’s abdomen is very large, it probably doesn’t need more food yet, but you should be offering it something every week to two weeks on the whole.
If your tarantula lunges when you are filling its water dish, this is another clear sign that it is hungry and ready to hunt. The sight of falling water seems to trigger their hunting response, and if your tarantula is doing this, you should give it something to eat unless it has very recently been fed.
What Happens If A Tarantula Doesn’t Eat?
In general, a tarantula will stop eating because it is molting or preparing for a molt, and nothing bad will happen; your spider will simply shed its skin and get larger. It may lose weight during this time because it isn’t eating, but it will soon resume food consumption once it has finished molting. In most cases, your tarantula will be fine, even if it doesn’t eat for weeks or months.
This behavior is particularly common among some species of tarantulas, such as the Chilean rose hair, which may stop eating for weeks without any obvious reason. You don’t need to be concerned about this; it is perfectly normal behavior, and nothing should happen as long as your spider was well fed and healthy when it started fasting.
If a tarantula’s abdomen starts to shrivel or it sits with its legs curled beneath it, you should be concerned and start checking the tank parameters, as these are both signs that the spider is unwell and going hungry. In general, however, not eating means very little to a tarantula, and it will resume eating at some point in the near future. Don’t be worried by a few weeks or even a few months of your tarantula rejecting food, unless it is showing other symptoms of illness.
So, there isn’t an easy answer to the question “how long can a tarantula live without food?” because it depends heavily on the environment, the species, the age of the tarantula, and how well fed it was to begin with. However, a tarantula can last for months and sometimes even for a year or more without eating, as long as it has access to water. You should not worry if your tarantula is rejecting food but seems fine in every other way; as long as its environment is good, it will soon start eating again.