Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Spider VS Grasshopper



So, my grandmother captured a black spider in her garden. I do not know the kind, I would say with all legs spread out it was about the size of a nickle, Looked simaler to a wolf only it was all black. This spider made a very impressive nest in it's jar. Witch later hatched a tone of little spiders., they for the most part stayed in the nest though. Grandma would feed the spider and her babies random bugs, she enjoyed wathing mama spider suck the bugs clean and leave them wrapped up. Then one day grandma cought a grasshopper and thought oh I bet my spider would like this meal. She pulled the wings off the grasshopper (I'm not sure why) and put it in the jar. Right away the spiders, mom and all the babies, started runnig around all crazy like. Then in the morning they were all dead. So my question is. are grasshoppers toxic to spiders? Or what would be the cause of this strange behavior and sudden death?




No, grasshoppers should not be toxic in any way to spiders.  Perhaps the grasshopper was itself contaminated with residual pesticides?

Without seeing at least an image of the spider in question, I cannot possibly be of any more help.  Many female spiders spin "nests" as you describe.


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Eric R. Eaton


I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.


Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

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One of the top 50 experts in all categories for AllExperts.com, 2009.

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Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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