Bagheera kiplingi is agile with fantastic eyesight – these skills help it dodge the ants that protect its veggie food source © R L Curry

Are there any vegetarian spiders?

There's one out there, but out of 40,000 spider species you'll struggle to find it – unless it jumps out at you.

Asked by: Lindsay Baily, Peterborough


Just one. Out of around 40,000 spider species, Bagheera kiplingi is the only spider known to have a herbivorous diet. It lives in Mexico and Costa Rica, is a species of ‘jumping spider’, and feeds mostly on protein nodules of the acacia tree. But even this spider sometimes eats ant larvae, so perhaps it is closer to the sort of vegetarian that doesn’t count prawns!


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