While spiders are often appreciated for the pest control services they provide, spiders are prey to a variety of animals, including birds, lizards, frogs and even larger spiders. Some animals, such as Tarantula hawks, deposit eggs in the bodies of spiders. When the eggs hatch, the babies feed on the spider’s internal tissues.
Lizards are predators of spiders. While they do not specifically seek out spiders, they eagerly consume them when the opportunity presents itself. According to About.com contributor Lisa Jo Lupo, lizards introduced to the Bahamas successfully eradicated a species of orb-weaving spiders over the course of about five years. Many bird species, including robins, wrens and mockingbirds, regularly consume spiders. The birds must be careful to avoid the sticky strands of the spiders’ webs, but some birds use the silk from these webs to line their nests.
Centipedes and scorpions also prey on spiders. They use their own venom to capture and subdue their spider prey. Monkeys and other small primates occasionally eat spiders as well, and they tend to prefer the larger spider species.
Spiders have a number of defense mechanisms that help them to avoid predators. In addition to their venom, some spiders have bold colors that warn of their venomous bite. Many spiders are also nocturnal, which can help them avoid diurnal predators.