How Does a Spider Eat?
A spider does not have chewing mouth parts. It eats by sucking the body fluids of its victims. Spiders have filters that keep out solid food so they have to digest the food outside the body!
Spiders usually feed on insects. To trap their prey, most spiders build sticky webs. Insects that fly or walk into the web become stuck in it. When a spider catches an insect, it swiftly paralyzes the captive by biting it with its poison fangs.
Then the spider pumps its digestive juices into the victim’s body. The powerful juices dissolve the captured insect’s body tissues. The spider then sucks the predigested juices into its stomach. A spider’s tiny mouth opening is just below its eyes.
Some spiders have to choke their prey to death with silk, because their venomous glands have been lost in the evolution process. All spiders are predators. They attack only live insects, other spiders, and other invertebrates.
A few very large spider species attack small vertebrates like lizards, minnows, or frogs, but this is rare. Spiders are famous for trapping their prey in webs of sticky silk, but many of them are wandering predators who don’t use silk to catch prey.