This article was last updated on 1 August 2021.

How long do spiders live in 2021

When you see a spider (Araneae), in your home, you may feel uncomfortable at their sight and feel uneasy around them. However, most are harmless and only bite when they are threatened.  You may also wonder how long do spiders live?

Well, let us help you in your quest to answer that question. Below, we will be exploring the average lifespan of spiders.

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Indoor house spiders life cycle

Spiders are arachnids and belong to the Arachnida class. Also included in this class are scorpions, insects, mites, ticks. What differentiates spiders from other insects is spiders have eight legs instead of six. Whilst insects have three body segments, spiders only have two, the cephalothorax (the “head” area) and the abdomen.

They have eight legs, and they also have two pedipalps (which look like miniature legs) in front of their mouths. And, they have many eyes spread around their bodies. 

Common domestic house spiders live for up to a year, but the indoor female can live for up to two or three years. However, this varies by species, as some may live up to 7 years old.

There are vast spider species (approximately 45,000) around the world, and due to their nature of adapting to differing climate situations, they have existed for around 400 million years. Different spider species even exist in extreme conditions, including under the ice caps in Antarctica. 

There are some that can live for 20 or sometimes even 40+ years. However, this depends on their climate and their surroundings. Like being in captivity. Many face dangerous conditions outdoors that reduce their chances of reaching a mature age.  

The oldest recorded spider to have lived was the Australian Trapdoor Spider that lived to a ripe age of 43 years old. It met its fate through a wasp sting and died.

This is due to a spider, their eggs and their young being food for many other animals. Predators which feed directly onto spiders are: wasps, reptiles, birds, mammals, arthropods, including other spiders, scorpions, and centipedes etc.

Delicacy to some

Too many people in some continents, including South America and Asia, spiders are considered a delicacy.

In the USA there are around several thousand species of spiders. If you’re an Arachnophobe then do not worry, as most spiders live outdoors. In the UK, there are around 650 species of spiders.

A worthwhile fact to know, is that the female lives longer than the male. Also, most male spiders reach maturity within around two years, and then pass on after they have mated. It’s a myth that all female spiders eat their mate after it has died. Only on rare occasions does this event take place. 

How long does black house spiders live?

The house spider is native to Australia. This type of spider is also native to southern Africa, but it is not a native species of the United States. This spider is often confused with the black widow. The difference between the two is the fact that the black widow has a red hourglass on its underbelly.

But, how long do black house spiders live? This type of arachnid has no recorded or normal lifespan, so to determine its exact age is near impossible to determine.

How do spiders build webs

Spiders create webs out of silk, a protein that they produce inside their bodies. Within their abdomen, they have a pair of glands that produce this silk. The glands are called “spinnerets”, and they have to be good at their job, because spiders can go through significant silk in a day, spinning it out of their abdomens at the rate of up to seven miles (11 km) per hour. Some species of spiders, including crab spiders, do not create webs at all, and instead hunt for prey on the ground.

Spider Egg Sacs

Females reproduce by laying their eggs a dozen at a time. Most encase their eggs, in silk spider egg sacs. Once a few weeks pass, the eggs hatch. These egg sacs are found in locations for spiders in secluded areas of the home like basements, cellars and garages.

Once hatched, these eggs are called spiderlings (baby spiders) and resemble smaller versions of adults. Once the spiderlings have emerged from their sac, they usually disperse. Remarkably, some spiderlings release silken threads that they use to catch and ride the wind, this is called ballooning.

How Long Do Spiders Live - Balooning

How big can spiders grow

The size of a spider depends on its species, diet, and environment. There are nearly 45,000 species of spiders, and they range in size from a few millimeters to several centimeters. The largest spider in the world is the Giant Huntsman spider. It can grow to a leg span of 30 centimeters, and its body can be 7 centimeters huge.

As spiders come in all shapes and sizes. Some are small and some are large. Spiders that are supersize are called tarantulas. Tarantulas can reach sizes up to 12 inches from leg to leg. Tarantulas are not poisonous. The only way they can bite you is if you touch their mouth parts. A tarantula bite can be painful  but a tarantula bite should not kill you, in some instances spider bites can be deadly, especially if you have allergies that cause an allergic reaction. 

Some venomous types of spiders in the world

The Brazilian Wandering Spider:

This is regarded as the most poisonous to humans and is considered the deadliest of the world’s spiders. This is due to the venom of this spider being deadly to a human’s nervous system, causing symptoms including salivation, painful erections in men and irregular heartbeat. 

This type of spider is often referred to as banana spiders due to frequently being found on banana leaves.  The Brazilian Wandering Spider tends to wander into comfortable and cosy places and will also crawl into flowers and fruits humans cultivate and consume. 

The Black Widow Spiders:

These are commonly identified by the coloured hourglass mark on their underbelly (abdomens). The female black widow usually has a reddish to yellow design on the underside of the abdomen, and is shiny black. On some occasions the female spider instead of a complete hourglass will have two smallish triangles instead. The male black widow spider will often have pairs of red and white stripes on the side of the abdomen, along with the hourglass design.

The venom of a black widow spider is feared, as it is 15 times deadlier than a rattlesnake’s venom drop for drop. When this spider bites a human, the symptoms that occur are nausea, muscle aches and paralysis of the diaphragm, thus making it more difficult to breathe. Bites are usually more fatal in the elderly or to young children. As most people who do not fall under these categories suffer serious damage, let alone death. 

The Brown Widow Spider:

This spider, a relative of the black widow spider, has a brownish appearance ranging from tan to almost black. Some specimens of this spider’s abdomen have markings that vary from colour, including black, white, yellow or dark brown to orange markings. The Brown Widow has an orange hourglass marking on its underbelly (abdomen).

The venom of a brown widow, considered twice as powerful as the black widow, produces painful symptoms, including spinal and cerebral paralysis, muscle spasms and tetanus like contractions.

Brown Recluse Spider:

In the USA, the only spiders you should be concerned about in your house are the brown recluse spider and the black widow.  The brown recluse spends it nights hunting for crickets, cockroaches and other soft bodied insects. They can go for months without eating. The venomous brown recluse rests in its web during the day.

This is due to their venomous bites. When found indoors, they will not automatically bite you, but if you disturb their habitat, like being found in boxes, shoes, clothing, furniture, bedding, tires and other storage areas, then they may bite out of self-defence. The brown recluse spider does not bite out of instinct. 

Red Widow Spider

Funnel Web Spider

 

How many eyes do spiders have

Many people consider all spiders have eight eyes, but this is not always correct.

Some species only have six, there are some species that have twelve, and there are some spiders that don’t have any. However, the amount of eyes spiders will have generally come in an even number.

Typically, most can only differentiate between light and dark. Other species of spiders have highly developed vision.

All spiders have highly evolved systems in place to detect the difference between their prey and the dangers that they encounter. As most don’t have great vision, spiders rely on touch and taste to manoeuvre their way around.

Where do spiders live

House spiders adore residing in places that are quiet, undisturbed, where food and moisture are available.

They also like dusty areas, like cupboards, dusty corners and other cosy places, including basements, garages. House spiders do not need much water to survive on, however moisture attracts bugs, so indoor spiders will choose to live in their webs nearby. This is their main source of food.

Alternatively, outdoor spiders live in different habitats, like in the woods, gardens, fences, holes in the walls, and there are some spiders that live in water.

How long can spiders live without food?

Depending on the species, some spiders can go a long time without food, from weeks to months. This is because most spiders are carnivores, and there is no shortage of minuscule insects for them to eat. Spiders that are carnivores prefer to eat live or recently killed prey. Arachnids you find in your home tend to eat insects, including flies, gnats, moths, ants and mosquitoes. These spiders will also tend to eat the insects that are caught in their webs.  However, the more “primitive” spiders from the tarantula family are, they are primarily herbivores, and can live for extended periods on the nutrients they store up from the plants they eat. Spiders that don’t make webs like the Hunting spider will hunt for larger insects to feed on including crickets, beetles and even grasshoppers.

Meet the author

Sarah Taylor

Hi, I am Sarah and I am the primary author for this website.  I’ve always been interested in useless and quirky facts and that led me to create this website.

My aim here is to focus on questions related to ‘How long….”.  My mission is to make my little site the go-to site for anyone that has a question they want answering.

Outside of this site, I love baking and making marmalade and jams.  It is something I have dine since I was a child and something I love doing with my little girls 🙂

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