Wolf Spider Diet

By Amy S. Jorgensen

Wolf spiders in the wild do not rely on webs to catch their food. They're hunters who chase or ambush their prey. They like to live alone. In order to keep a wolf spider as a pet, you need to be prepared to provide live insects at least every other day. If your spider produces babies, they will also need small live prey, but not as often.

Adult Wolf Spider Diet

In the wild, a wolf spider will eat almost any prey smaller than himself that comes nearby. As a pet, your wolf spider will eat almost any living prey you present in his tank or cage. However, you should limit the prey you choose to insects or worms that are about half the size of your wolf spider.

Possible prey items you might present to your wolf spider include:

  • Houseflies
  • Moths
  • Worms
  • Crickets
  • Meal worms
  • Mosquitoes

Do not feed your wolf spider prey that could potentially injure him, such as wasps or other spiders.

You can purchase live crickets at most pet stores or catch live prey around your home or outdoors. Present the prey alive so the spider can hunt and kill it. If the spider has not attacked the food after a few minutes, remove the prey and try feeding your spider again later.

Feeding Frequency

How often you feed your wolf spider depends on two things: the size of the prey you provide and the size of your pet. Feed larger species of wolf spider once a day. If the prey is large, you may be able to feed the spider every other day. With smaller wolf spider species, one meal every two days is fine. Although feeding every couple of days is good, a wolf spider can go more than a week without food -- he can adjust his metabolism when prey is scarce.

Feeding Wolf Spiderlings

If your wolf spider happens to be a pregnant female, and hatches her own family of spiderlings, or baby spiders, she will provide for their food for the first few days of their lives. Unlike most spiders, the wolf spider carries her newly hatched young on her backs. During that time, the babies typically live off the remains of the egg sacs that held them. When the nurturing period is up, the mother wolf spider will go on her way and the baby spiders will need you to provide food. Separate the baby spiders from one another at this point so they do not start feeding on their siblings, then feed them small prey, such as fruit flies, until they begin maturing. They do not need to eat as often as mature spiders. Generally, baby spiders can be fed once every five days.