Nearly all spiders subdue their prey by injecting venom through their fangs, which operate much like a pair of hypodermic needles. Besides the paralytic action of the venom compounds, the spider regurgitates digestive fluids onto the prey to digest it, working more or less like a meat tenderizer. Once the prey begins to liquefy, the spider uses its jaws and pedipalps to further masticate its meal. The “meat ball” is then slowly imbibed by the mouthparts, taken in mostly in liquid form. Spiders in the obscure family Uloboridae do not possess venom glands, but the rest of the feeding process remains the same. Prey is subdued by tightly wrapping it in silk.
More Frequently Asked Questions
General Spider Questions
- What is a spider?
- How do I identify a spider?
- What is the world's largest spider?
- How many eyes do spiders have?
- How long do spiders live?
- How are spiders helpful to people and the planet?
- What kind of animals eat spiders?
- How do spiders produce silk?
- Why do spiders spin webs?
- How do spiders create webs?
- How long does it take a spider to build a web?
- How strong is a spider web?
- Why is spider silk sticky?
- What else do spiders use silk for?
- What is the most venomous spider in the world?
- How do I treat a spider bite?
- What do spider bites look like?