Do tarantulas eat lettuce? This question might be surprising to you as you know that tarantulas are carnivores. Therefore, they will almost always go for any type of meat that they can get their hands, err legs on. But do they eat greens every once in a while?
Tarantulas can eat lettuce. However, it is not their number one choice for food. In fact, there are only a few cases where researchers and owners observed that their Tarantulas will take a little peck out of lettuce. This behavior somehow gives a clue on what is lacking in your Tarantula’s diet.
Does that mean that you can always feed lettuce to your tarantula? Not necessarily. We will explain the reason further in this article. So do not get your hopes up yet! Surely, your tarantula will not be a vegetarian anytime soon.
Do Tarantulas Eat Lettuce?
Yes, they do! But as you might have observed, this behavior is rarely if not even seen in any form of media. In fact, one would think that in the wild, with all the abundance of greenery, someone will surely spot a tarantula munching on lettuce.
But that is not the case. Why is that?
It is because they rarely do so. Even on those rare times, they probably just ate the lettuce without thinking much of it. Definitely, this behavior only came to light due to pet and captive tarantulas.
There are some owners who want to experiment with their tarantulas’ diet, so they offer them different types of food. It was then that some noticed that their tarantulas will sometimes eat lettuce.
What can be the reason behind this? Take a look at the following.
Lack Of Nutrients
As tarantulas are carnivores, their primary source of food should, of course, be meat. This is the reason why feeders can be crickets, roaches, mealworms, super worms, etc.
These feeders are rich in protein and fat that will enrich the health of your T. Even in the wild, they will always go after live prey as opposed to eating fruits and vegetables.
On the other hand, there are some cases where they will simply nibble on fruits and vegetables, and in this case lettuce. But this simply means that your tarantula senses that there is some sort of vitamin, mineral, or any other nutrients that he is lacking in his carnivorous diet.
This situation is very realistic as no matter how well you gut-load your feeder insects, there will still be some times that the nutrients within them are not enough. Therefore, if your T has access to other food sources that can provide the lacking nutrient, he will go for it.
Source Of Water
It has been observed in the wild that tarantulas sometimes eat juicy fruit, like apples, oranges, grapes, etc. As for vegetables, they will sometimes eat select juice-filled ones, like cucumbers, celery, radishes, etc.
What is the reason behind this? They are thirsty!
The video below shows a T “eating” vegetables. The owner of this Tarantula said that the animal is still healthy and that eating vegetables had no bad effect on his T.
Lettuce is a good source of water. In fact, it is composed of 96% water. Therefore, if your T is inclined to eat lettuce in his enclosure, then this simply means that he is not getting his fill from the water dish.
Meaning, his water dish may not be clean or there are several mites in it. Further, the water may not be clean and is full of unwanted chemicals.
Tarantulas are surely mysterious creatures as there are some things that they do that are outside their normal behavior.
If you checked that they are in good health, their water dish and water is fine, and they are not lacking in nutrients, but they still eat lettuce, then do they have a problem?
You have nothing to worry about since they might just probably felt like it to nibble on lettuce. In fact, they can be pretty undecided in terms of eating lettuce.
There might be times that they will keep on eating some of it, while other times, even if you offer them lots of lettuce, they will refuse to eat it. But that is just the way it is.
What Does Lettuce Contain?
It actually depends on the variety of lettuce that you have. But in general, they are a good source of Vitamin A and Vitamin K.
If you have romaine lettuce, then it has high concentrations of Vitamin A as well as beta carotene. This is actually good for your tarantula as they need a good source of Vitamin A.
On the other hand, if you have iceberg lettuce, it is a good source of iron and folate. These nutrients will also be beneficial to your T.
Is Lettuce Harmful To Your Tarantula?
If we are talking about lettuce per se, then it is not harmful to your tarantula. As we have discussed previously, it is actually used as a supplement by your tarantula if he feels that he is lacking in some nutrients.
So that goes to show that eating lettuce can really help him. But as the saying goes, “too much of a good thing is bad.” Therefore, if he keeps on eating lettuce then he is missing out on the other essential nutrients that he needs so he can grow properly.
On the other hand, lettuce can be harmful to your T if you offer it to them without being properly washed. Especially the ones you buy from the grocery store.
Even though it is indicated in the packaging that they are organic, prewashed, and do not have GMOs, there are still certain chemicals that were used to grow them properly.
Therefore, you should always wash it thoroughly in order to rid of those harmful chemicals that may be passed on to your tarantula.
Can You Use Lettuce As Primary Food?
You can never use lettuce as the primary food of your tarantula, simply because your T remains to be carnivorous. Tarantulas do not go after live prey just because they choose to do so, but they are actually meant to consume live prey.
Therefore, going out of that norm may endanger the health of your tarantula. In the event that you want to incorporate lettuce in their diet, you can simply use it in gut loading their feeder insects. Or, you can offer them pieces of lettuce once a week.
This is actually what some owners and breeders do just to make sure that their tarantulas will not have any lacking nutrients. But most of them feed lettuce to their feeder insects instead of offering lettuce directly to their tarantulas.