Spiders are incredible! These arthropods are part of the Arachnida class with 8 orders, 111 families, and over 45,000 species. But how long do spiders live? It’s hard to say. It depends on the species and environment. On average, wild spiders live between one and two years. In ideal conditions, like plenty of prey and safety from predators, domestic spiders can live longer.
In this guide, we’ll look at:
- What affects a spider’s life span
- Averages by species
- How to increase a pet spider’s life
- Answering other spider questions
What are Spiders?
Fascinating and sometimes intimidating, spiders belong to the arachnid family. Different types exist, in all shapes and sizes. How long they live depends on their species. Let’s explore to find out more!
Anatomy of a Spider
Spiders are arachnids of the class Araneae. They have two body parts – a cephalothorax and an abdomen. They also have four pairs of jointed legs and chelicerae. Most spiders are 3-7mm long and have no wings or antennae.
The cephalothorax is protected by a chitin shell. It houses their organs, eyes, and mouth appendages. It helps them move their body.
The spider’s abdomen is soft tissue. It is separated from the cephalothorax by a flexible pedicel. On the underside, spiders have six spinnerets for exuding silk. Some spiders have bristles and taste buds for sensing vibrations and navigating. They have poor eyesight.
Types of Spiders
Spiders come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Most commonly, they have four or eight eyes.
The araneomorphae clade has four pairs. These include orb-weavers, jumping spiders, wolf spiders, hacklemesh weavers, cobweb spiders, and waterspiders.
The entelegynae clade has six or more pairs. Daddy long legs spider, cellar spider, sheetweb weaver and others belong to this group.
Dream fans and other mygalomorphae also have more than six eyes. These are some of the largest spiders. They can even catch small birds and lizards! Other mygalomorphae include tarantulas, trapdoor spiders, flat rock spiders, and mouse spiders.
How Long Do Spiders Live?
How long do spiders live? Fascinating creatures, spiders come in many sizes and shapes. Known for web-spinning and nest-building, even the largest spiders can take on prey. In this article, we explore the average spider lifespan. Plus, the key factors that can change it!
Factors that Affect a Spider’s Lifespan
Spiders’ lifespans differ greatly, from just a few days to many years. Species and environment, plus protection from predators, all affect their life. Web-builders generally have shorter lives than hunting spiders, as they are more vulnerable. However, hunting spiders have become resistant due to their surprise-and-capture technique.
Diet is another factor, with more proteins from meatier prey helping them live longer. The climate also influences length; hot temperatures reduce it, while cold climates increase it due to a steady food source and shelter from the elements. Urban areas, with more humans or cars, can lead to shorter lives, while rural habitats give spiders more safety.
Average Lifespan of Different Types of Spiders
The life of a spider varies by species. Generally, it’s 1-2 years, but some can reach 20 years in the wild. Some don’t survive the first molt. Here’s the average lifespan of different types of spiders:
- Hunting spiders: Short-lived – about one year in the wild.
- Web-building spiders: Can live for several years. Wolf spiders: 8+ years. Small web-builders: Less than three years.
- Trapdoor spiders: Long-lived. Up to 20 years in captivity, 10+ in the wild.
- Jumping spiders: Long-lived too. With proper care and nutrition, they can live two or more years.
- Social spiders: Very large colonies with shared resources and parental care. They may live up to 20 years! Usually, the colony only lasts a few months due to infighting or external threats.
The life of spiders differs, based on their species, habitat, etc. A few may live up to 20 years, while others may just last a few months. Since their life is short, the spider population has cycles of growth and decrease during a season.
In addition, certain species may be kept as pets. In this case, they usually survive longer than in the wild, due to even temperatures and food supply. If well taken care of, some pet spiders may even make it to five or 10 years! Nonetheless, it’s essential to think of the needs of the spider before taking on such an obligation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How long do spiders live?
A: The average lifespan of a spider is about one year, although some species of spiders can live for several years in captivity.
Q: Do spiders have any predators?
A: Yes, spiders have a variety of predators including birds, lizards, frogs, and even other spiders.
Q: How do spiders reproduce?
A: Most spiders reproduce by laying eggs and then leaving them to hatch. Some species of spiders also reproduce through sexual means.