Are tarantulas nocturnal or are they diurnal? Do tarantulas even sleep or are they awake 24 hours a day? These are important questions for prospective tarantula owners. It’s important to know when your tarantula is active, and when it’s not. That way, you can know when you should leave it alone and when you can interact with it. It’s also crucial to know this information because otherwise, you don’t know when the ideal time to feed your T is.
In this article, I’m going to go over everything you need to know about your tarantula’s sleep, activity, and more. Let’s get started.
The quick answer to the question at hand is this: Tarantulas are nocturnal spiders. They come out at night to hunt their prey. However, just like other spiders, tarantulas do not sleep the same way humans do – they can’t even close their eyes because they do not have eyelids. Instead, they reduce their activity level during the day while hiding in their burrows. During this time, they lower their metabolism to preserve their energy for when the night comes.
Do tarantulas sleep?
Tarantulas do not sleep the same way that you, me, and most other animals do. They do not lay down, close their eyes, and fall into a deep slumber. In fact, since they do not have eyelids it’s impossible for them to close their eyelids in the first place.
However, just because they do not sleep just like you and I do, does not mean that they’re active all throughout the day and night. Most tarantula species spend most of the day in their burrows. In there, they barely move and try to conserve as much of their energy as they can. They kind of put their body in low-maintenance mode. In this low-maintenance mode, they barely burn any calories.
During this time it’s best not to disturb them. They might not be sleeping but they want to preserve their energy and do not want to be disturbed.
When to feed your tarantula
Since your T is resting during the day you should feed your tarantula at the night. Doing this will not only ensure that you do not disturb their rest, it also helps your spider maintain a good day and night cycle.
They instinctively know that nighttime is when it’s time to eat, and daytime is when it’s time to rest. If you start feeding your tarantula during the day they might get confused.
Since tarantulas in the wild hunt at night, you should let them do the same in captivity, this means that feeding them at night is ideal.
Why are tarantulas nocturnal?
Most spiders are nocturnal. The reason why tarantulas, and most other spiders, are nocturnal is that they try to avoid their predators by hiding during the day.
The predators that prey on the tarantula depends on where they live – arboreal tarantulas have different predators than non-arboreal tarantulas. The main predators of tarantulas are large birds, foxes, coyotes, snakes, and lizards.
Most of these predators (except some snakes and lizards) are diurnal, meaning they hunt during the day. Since most of their predators are active during the day and sleep at night, the tarantula can easily avoid contact with them by hiding in their burrows during the daytime. If they were to venture out of their burrows during the day they would be easy prey for a bird flying over or a lizard roaming around.
In addition, tarantulas do not have very good eyesight. Because of this, their hunting strategy is not impacted by the dark of night all that much, while that of their prey is. This means that hunting at night, rather than during the day, gives them a distinct advantage when hunting. It makes it much more difficult for the tarantula’s prey to see them coming. Also, tarantulas are ambush hunters, which is a strategy that works much more effectively at night.
So, tarantulas are nocturnal for 2 reasons: it allows them to avoid predators, while at the same time making it easier for them to hunt their prey.
For more information about the tarantula, I highly suggest taking a look at this article. It goes over whether or not tarantulas are poisonous, whether they bite, and if they’re dangerous or friendly.