Spiders are eight-legged carnivorous arachnids. They are found over most of the world in a wide range of habitats from jungle to desert. Most spiders spin sticky webs in which to trap their prey.
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Types of insects in spider diet
Spiders eat a wide range of insects, including grasshoppers and crickets, wasps, mosquitoes, gnats, flies, moths, butterflies, cockroaches, beetles, ants, cicadas and scorpions.
A vegetarian spider
"Current Biology Journal" published a paper in October 2009, describing the only known vegetarian spider, Bagheera kiplingi, a type of jumping spider found in Mexico and Central America.
Some large spider species, including the tarantula, prey on lizards, frogs and toads, small mammals and birds. Some jumping spiders supplement their insect diet with nectar and pollen.
How spiders eat insects
Spiders have fangs that inject venom into their prey to paralyse them. Because the spider's gut cannot handle solid food, it uses enzymes to liquefy the insect's innards before ingesting them.
Some spider species do not spin webs. They wander in search of prey, and attack aggressively. Spiders have six to eight eyes, but most species have poor vision.
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