Fascinating creatures and with over 38,000 species, spiders are some of the most diverse animals on earth. Existing for over a million years, these eight-legged critters have had a lot of time to perfect their hunting and survival skills.
On average, most spiders live for about two years in the world.
There are various factors that could determine how long a spider lives, such as the climate, species and type of spider, and the amount of predation.
Although 2 years is the average lifespan of spiders, there are some that can only live for about a year, while some others can live up to 20 years in a controlled environment.
Different Factors Affecting Spider’s Lifespan
Whether you’re genuinely curious and simply fascinated by spiders, or you just want to know how long these creatures will stay in your home before nature takes its course, understanding the different factors that affect their lifespan is important. Here are some of the most common factors:
What a spider eats can have a big impact on how long it leaves. Those who feast on larger insects tend to live longer than those that only eat smaller prey.
This has something to do with the fact that spiders that eat bigger insects also tend to be bigger, and generally speaking, larger animals live longer than smaller animals.
This second factor may have something to do with their diet. Predatorial spiders, such as the tarantula, tend to live longer than non-predatory spiders. Their ability to hunt and kill their prey gives them a better chance at surviving and living a longer life compared to smaller house spiders that tend to get eaten by larger animals.
The type of habitat a spider lives in can also influence its lifespan. Tropical spiders, for example, have been known to live longer than those found in more temperate climates.
This is likely due to the fact that tropical spiders don’t have to contend with the colder weather that can kill off other species.
For instance, one spider that’s in a controlled environment, like a lab, for instance, has a greater chance of living longer. This is primarily because they don’t have to worry about predators, food shortages, and other factors that would otherwise shorten their lifespan.
A Spider’s Life Cycle
Regardless of their life span, all spiders go through the same life cycle. It starts with the egg stage, where spiderlings hatch from their eggs and are incredibly vulnerable.
Depending on the spider species, a female spider may lay one egg to a thousand of them. These mother spiders guard the egg sacs with their life, defending them in various ways.
For instance, some species of spiders will build a web around the egg sac to protect it against predators and the elements. Others will carry their egg sacs with them until they can find a safe place to build a web or until the spiderlings are ready to fend for themselves.
The entire development of these eggs, including the length, may, again, vary depending on the species of spider. Most of them last all throughout the winter season.
As soon as the egg sacs hatch, they go through a process called “ballooning.” This is where the spiderlings climb to the highest point they can find, such as a tree or building, and release silk into the wind. It is also known as kiting, and it’s the spiderlings’ way of dispersing themselves.
This is an important step in their life cycle because it allows them to travel to different areas and start their own colonies. If they were to stay in the same area, there’s a greater chance that they would end up competing for food and resources, which would likely lead to their demise.
Once they’ve settled in a new area, the spiderlings go through molting. This is where they shed their skin so they can grow larger. They typically molt 5 to 6 times before they reach adulthood.
The entire process usually takes around 2 to 3 years, but it can be shorter or longer depending on the spider species.
Adult spiders don’t grow much larger, but they can live for several years. Male spiders generally have shorter lifespans than females. The majority of male spiders start to do this once they’ve mated, while female spiders can give birth multiple times before they finally die.
Spiders can live anywhere between 1-20 years and may significantly vary depending on numerous factors. However, the average number of years a spider can live is around 2-3 years in the wild.
Spiders in captivity, such as those found in zoos and labs, have a greater chance of living longer because they’re not exposed to the same dangers as those in the wild.