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The life of a spider

A day in the life of a spider must be a lot of fun. You wake up, make some adjustments to your web, wait for the silly insects to get caught, have some lunch, go for a walk, try to avoid getting stepped on and come home to your web to see if dinner has arrived. If you are feeling like some fun maybe you walk on a human while they are trying to sleep to give them a fright, then, call it a night. It does sound like a fun time. Yet how long does the life of a spider last?

Just how long a spider will live is not a straight forward question, as it depends on the species. Today alone we have found 38,000 species of spider and we know that there is likely another 40,000 that have yet to be discovered. These spiders vary in size, build, preferred climate and more. The smallest spiders discovered can be less than one millimeter in length as an adult, while the largest, the South American Tarantula, can be 10cm in length with a leg span of 27cm.

Some spiders will only live for a few months while others will live for up to 20 years. The tarantula again is the record holder as it will live for around 20 years in captivity. In almost all cases it is the female spider that will live longest. The male’s job is usually just to show up, mate, and die. 

Spiders are incredibly resourceful and have been around for millions of years as a result. If a spider has no access to food or water it can still survive for months. Compare this to the human who will die after three days of no water. This shows just how resilient the spider is. There are very few climates where spiders do not thrive around the world.