Can Turtles Eat Spiders? – Are Spiders Good For Box Turtles?
Pet turtles will eat nearly all insects they stumble upon, including worms, grasshoppers, beetles, and crickets. But can they eat spiders considering that most of these arachnids are poisonous or venomous?
Can turtles eat spiders? Of course, yes. Turtles love feeding on insects. So, if you offer spiders to your turtles or they come across them, they will eat these insects out of curiosity. And they can feed on dead or alive spiders regardless of whether or not they are venomous.
But just because turtles can eat spiders, is it okay to feed them these insects? Here are some helpful insights.
Can You Feed Spiders To Your Pet Turtles?
No. While turtles enjoy eating a variety of insects, including spiders, you should not feed them these arachnids. Do you know why? First and foremost, it’s because most spiders, including the black widows and brown recluse spiders, are venomous. The venom can be harmful to your turtles if the spiders bite their skin.
Another reason you should not feed spiders to your pet turtles is because of their low nutritional benefits. Compared to other non-poisonous insects like bloodworms and mealworms, spiders provide little to no nutritional value. Check out the table below to understand the nutritional value that spiders offer.
|Nutritional Value Of Extremely Huge Spiders (100 Grams)||Amount Per Serving|
|Total Fat||10 g|
From the above table, it is clear that spiders are only rich in proteins. They lack even traces of essential vitamins and minerals that pet turtles need to stay healthy. Because of this, these arachnids are not a great addition to your pet’s healthy diet, whether non-poisonous or non-venomous.
Additionally, you should not feed spiders to your pet turtles because these insects could be carrying dangerous parasites. So, once your turtles eat the spiders, they could get sick. For this reason, you should consider feeding your turtles other healthy types of insects such as
- Earthworms and wax worms
- Mealworms and silkworms
- Crickets and moths
- Snails and slugs
Do Turtles Like Spiders?
Most turtles don’t like spiders. They prefer other insects like worms, beetles, and flies. However, if they stumble upon a spider while going about their business, they will eat it out of curiosity.
Risks For Turtles Eating Spiders
There are more risks for pet turtles eating spiders than health benefits. One of the common risks is that your turtles could become sick from eating poisonous spiders.
Additionally, most spiders have barbed hairs on their bodies. Therefore, if turtles eat these arachnids, they may suffer from inflammation along their digestive tract.
Next, there is the risk of the spiders passing diseases and even parasites to your pet turtles. Lastly, your turtles run the risk of being bitten by venomous spiders when trying to eat them.
Why You Shouldn’t Feed Spiders To Turtles?
Spiders don’t offer a lot of nutritional value to your pet turtles. This is because they are only a good source of proteins and fat. However, turtles need different nutrients, including vitamin A to grow.
How Can You Keep Spiders Away From Pet Turtles?
If your pet turtles come across spiders in their path, they will eat them. So to keep them away from your turtles, you should first remove any spider webs around the house.
Additionally, you must clean out any food sources in your turtle’s living space that would attract spiders. You could also use spider-repellent plants like mint or a natural repellent spray.
Can You Feed Spiders To Baby Turtles?
No. Just like you should not feed spiders to adult turtles, even their babies should not eat these insects. Baby turtles’ immune system is not very strong, so ingesting a poisonous insect can kill them.
Check out this video of a snapping turtle feeding on a spider tarantula, a venomous spider species.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Absolutely. Box turtles are omnivores. But compared to other turtle species, they have a good and healthy appetite for a wide range of insects. They can eat spiders, millipedes, earthworms, caterpillars, and grasshoppers. Besides eating the spiders alive or dead, they can also consume them canned, freeze-dried, and bagged moist.
Red-eared slider turtles eat pretty much anything since they are also omnivores. So yes, these turtle species can eat spiders when the opportunity presents itself. However, compared to box turtles, red-eared slider turtles don’t like eating spiders. They prefer other insects like worms, bugs, snails, and crickets.
Yes. While these reptiles are omnivores, painted turtles’ diet is mainly meat-based. Therefore, they can eat insects such as spiders. And since they are aquatic turtles, these reptiles can eat water spiders. Eating spiders is okay for painted turtles as long as they do it occasionally and don’t eat more than two.
Pet turtles love feeding on insects and will even eat spiders. However, as a pet owner, you should not feed spiders to your turtles because of the many risks. Besides, spiders are not highly nutritious. Therefore, you should also not let even baby turtles eat spiders.
Do you want to know if turtles eat lettuce or goldfish? Read our articles about it to learn more.