Cave spiders are large, hairless red spiders about the size of a tarantula. They have smooth skin and soft flesh. Although they appear to be spiders, they are not true arachnids as they have no poison sacs and cannot produce silken threads.
Large groups of cave spiders will swarm over large animals each delivering a nasty bite. Thirty or more can quickly kill an unarmored man. However, cave spiders usually don't attack man sized targets unless provoked or extremely hungry. Cave spiders see in the infrared spectrum only. Light or lack thereof does not bother cave spiders. Heat sources (fire, etc.) blinds them. Cave spiders dislike intense heat and can be driven off with fire.
Cave spiders are usually found only underground, but can also be found in dungeons, graveyards, sea caves and other dark, cool places.
Cave spiders are omnivores - feeding on plant life, carrion, soil bacteria and hunting small animals. Cave spiders have developed a unique method of hunting cave fish and other aquatic creatures. Cave spiders have book lungs, like most spiders, which appear to be small slits beneath the abdomen. Normally, an insect or arachnid submerged in a fluid would drown. However, the cave spider can excrete mucus from tiny glands in the abdomen surrounding the book lung openings. This mucus, combined with exhaled air, form a bubble around the abdomen. It them slips into water and uses leg kicks to swim. The air bubbles cling to the underside of the spider and do not interfere with the mandibles, so the spider can still bite prey. The cave spider often uses this technique to hunt cave fish and reach the submerged eggs of certain aquatic species. The cave spider is a surprisingly fast and agile swimmer. Cave spiders can stay under for up to five minutes before having to resurface.
This website was last updated March 31, 2019. Copyright 1990-2019 David M. Roomes.