How Do Spiders Drink Water? | The Strange Answer

Almost every living thing needs water to survive, including spiders, but arachnids don’t drink water in the same way humans and other mammals do. There are a few ways that spiders get water: from a water bowl, from their web, and from their food.

Now, let’s go into more detail about the different ways that spiders drink water.

How Spiders Drink Water

Spiders have a few different ways of staying hydrated. Here are some of the most common ones.

1. Drinking From a Pool of Water

When they actually need to drink water, spiders usually drink from a shallow pool or puddle in the wild or from a water bowl in captivity. They approach the source of water, put their front legs in the water for balance, and submerge their entire mouthparts.

Spiders don’t have mouths like mammals do. Instead, they use body parts called chelicerae that look like fangs or jaws. These chelicerae create a sucking motion when the spider is submerged in water so the animal can drink (similarly to how we drink water through straws). Then, the water is sucked into the mouth, which is located behind the chelicerae.

It takes spiders a while to get water this way, and it’s common to see them partially submerged in water for minutes and even hours.

Check out this video of a tarantula drinking from a container of water.

2. Drinking From Their Webs

Spiders need water just like humans, but they are not limited to drinking in the traditional way. Spiderwebs collect moisture, especially in the morning as dew drops form.

Spiders will go around their web and collect the water droplets, sometimes eating the entire web before spinning it out again.

Check out this video of a spider drinking droplets from its web.

3. From Their Food

Spiders actually get a good amount of the moisture they need daily from their food. They eat prey by liquifying it, then sucking it up through the chelicerae, and the water and blood inside the prey’s body nourish the spider.

The water spiders get from food is not enough to hydrate them, so they have to seek out other sources.

Top Places That Spiders Drink From

The primary source of liquid for spiders is their food.

Then, they drink from their own webs as the delicate strands create a makeshift water-catching apparatus. Spiders will actually drink any condensed droplets they find, including water that pools on windowpanes or on leaves.

When it comes to actual sources of water, spiders prefer wide, shallow sources they can immerse their heads in without drowning. They like puddles and pools of water.

Pet spiders held in captivity drink from their water bowls.

How Long Spiders Can Last Without Water

There is no definitive answer as to how long spiders can survive without water. The answer depends a lot on their habitat and ambient factors that determine if there is moisture around or other favorable conditions to help them survive.

Another factor that determines how long spiders can last without water is the species. For example, some brown recluse spiders have been observed to survive as long as ten months without water. On the other end of the spectrum, tarantulas can only last about a few weeks.

Even the most thirsty spider species that need water frequently to live can last much longer without water than humans.

How Spiders Drink Water in the House

Now that you know spiders need water to live, you may be wondering how your house spiders survive for so long without a water bowl or wild puddle.

However, spiders in the house get creative when finding sources of water. Some drink condensation droplets from the windowpanes. While spiders need water to survive, they don’t need that much of it, so they can make do with the droplets they find here or there.

Like wild spiders, house spiders also get most of the water they need from their prey. Spiders can last a long time without drinking but need to eat more frequently, and when they eat, they drink water as well.

Do Spiders Drink From Their Fangs?

What most people call spider’s fangs are scientifically known as the chelicerae. The chelicerae are important in the drinking process for spiders because they have to submerge them in water to drink.

However, spiders do not actually get liquid through these fangs. Instead, the chelicerae and the muscles around the spider’s mouth work together to create a sucking motion that draws water toward the spider. Water enters through the spider’s actual mouth, which is hidden behind the chelicerae.

Although spiders need their fangs to drink, they don’t actually drink from them.

How to Tell if a Spider is Dehydrated

Spiders can get dehydrated just like humans, and there are a few signs to alert you to a dehydrated spider.

The first is a change in size. If your pet spider looks smaller than usual, particularly if it looks deflated, it is probably dehydrated. The abdomen or the middle part of the spider will be the first to lose volume if the spider is dehydrated.

A dehydrated spider will also change its behavior. Common changes include disorientation, such as uncoordinated limbs, and weakness, such as the inability to lift off the ground.

In severe cases, dehydrated spiders may even die.

How Often Spiders Need to Drink Water

How often a spider needs to drink water will depend on the species and ambient conditions. While spiders can go for weeks and even months without water, most spider species need water every few days to stay happy and healthy.

If you are trying to keep your pet spider hydrated, the best practice is to have a water bowl on hand and fill it up regularly so the spider always has access to water.


Seeing a spider drinking water is a rare sight unless you carefully monitor its behavior, but they do drink water. Spiders get a lot of moisture from their food and even their webs but will drink water by submerging their mandibles and sucking water like a straw. Spiders can last much longer without water than humans but still need it to survive.