What to feed your Jumping spider

Jumping spiders are agile hunters and will be readily feeding on following feeder insects: Crickets, flies, roaches, meal worms, wax worms, moths etc. You will find a few good tips on what to feed your Jumping Spider below.

Jumping spiders have superior vision compared to most other spiders and combined with advance hunting tactics and intelligence hunters. In fact, Pridippus johnsoni also known as “Nefertiti” was sent to International space station in 2012 where it learned to catch flies in zero gravity and even came back to earth after that.
You can learn more about that journey in fun book Nefertiti, the Spidernaut: The Jumping Spider Who Learned to Hunt in Space


mustard yellow fly known as drosophila with see through wings and burnt orange colour eyes and dark brown booty standing on three legs sideways

Flies make an excellent feeder for a jumping spider that will provide the necessary nutrients and enrichment to a spider. These creatures are readily available in pet stores, online and fly larvae can be cheaply bought in most angler stores.

Drosophila melanogaster
Smallest flies available in trade are D.melanogaster and they are usually used to feed Phidippus hatchlings 1st-3rd instar. They cannot fly and can be easily contained when feeding time comes. They have relatively short life span but you can breed them in plastic tub setup once the initial culture is acquired.

Drosophila hydei
Next type of fly is D.hydei. They are very similar to D.melanogaster in care and ways they are breed, but are slightly bigger in size and you can offer to spiders 2nd-5th instar.

House flies / Green bottle fly / Bluebottle fly
Do not use the ones flying around your house as they can carry pests harmful to a spider. You can find any of them as larvae in angler stores or as a pupa (casters) online. Larvae will not need any food, just separate larva in small batches into several plastic tubs with ventilation and they can be stored in a fridge for weeks. Take them out and store in warm place to trigger pupation.

Once flies hatched they will need to be fed with sugar water or honey and can be stored in the fridge to prolong their life.
To avoid fly infestation in your house make sure plastic tubes do not have big enough holes for them to escape.
Before feeding jumping spiders with flies, put tub with flies in a fridge for few minutes to slow them down.


brown cricket with six legs is resting on a white background

Feeder insect that is available in most pet shops which you can easily purchase online will, of course, be crickets. You can get them at any size, starting with micro crickets which will be perfect for spiderlings and up to sub-adults when they best used for adult Phidippus.
Jumping spiders will actively react on offered cricket if hungry. However, if there is no reaction from a spider within a few minutes, you will need to take the cricket out of enclosure as it can be dangerous for moulting, old or just not hungry spiders. Sometimes when the cricket is left in the enclosure it can try biting the spider and can even kill it.
Same applies on locusts.



a bunch of light brown worms known as mealworms for jumping spiders

Mealworms are cheap and easy feeders you can easily keep alive for long or even sustainably breed. Their babies make a great snack for juvie Jumping spider and adult Jumping spiders generally can overpower adult mealworm. You can breed them in plastic tubs or drawers.
If you are using the enclosure with smooth walls (mealworms can’t climb smooth surfaces), couple mealworms can be dropped into an enclosure for a spider to eat as it pleases. However, offer them in moderation, they are high in fat and do not provide the best nutritional value on a long run but make an excellent addition to a varied diet. 

Mealworms have strong jaws and can hurt jumping spider if are too large for a spider to cope with. Also, if mealworms stay in enclose for too long, they will mature into beetles and believe me, no one wants that in spider enclosure.



a small bunch of pale brown nude colour worms known as waxworms caterpillar larvae for jumping spiders

Waxworms are caterpillar larvae of waxworms and you can offer to a spider as larvae or as moths once it pupates and hatches. They are easily found in most pet stores and online and do not require a lot of care. You can store them in cooler temperatures for a few weeks. They are usually sold in round tubs with few waxworms and substrate that doubles up as food. Higher temperature will effect in faster pupation and hatch into moths.
Similar to Mealworm, waxworms are high in fat and must not be fed as a steady diet. Due to the size, you can only offer them to sub-adult spiders and adult jumping spiders.
You can also add a few mealworms to a spider enclosure and spider will eat them in all their development stages.
Jumping spiders will readily eat waxworms, moths that hatched and sometimes even pupa (spider version of burrito).



brown stripy roach on six legs shown  in a big scale from the top

I will be talking about 2 most commonly kept species of roaches, Dubia roaches and Turkistan / Red runner roaches, however, there is a huge variety of species available out there.

Roaches are considered one of the best feeders for arachnids. Not only that they are super easy to keep and breed and have long lifespan they offer great nutritional value for your pet spider. Roaches are less likely to hurt spider if left in an enclosure. However, they can disturb and stress spider that is going into moult.
You can offer baby roaches to Jumping spiders starting from 5th instar up. Just make sure though that the spider can overpower it.
As most of the other insect feeder described, you can buy these in pet stores, online and from private breeders.
Small colony or roaches can be easily kept in a plastic tube for years and it will grow in size quickly if you heat and feed appropriately.


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