Are Spiders Nocturnal? The Spider Sleep Schedule (Explained)

Spiders are intimidating creatures. Yet, they’re extremely beneficial for our planet earth and the ecological system. This is because they prey on harmful insects, such as flies and mosquitoes.

However, lots of people are scared of spiders and do their best to avoid seeing or touching one. There’re lots of bizarre facts concerning spiders.

Did you ever wonder why you usually run into spiders at night? Are spiders Nocturnal? Or do they hunt during the day?

Let’s find out!

Are Spiders Nocturnal or Diurnal?

While some spider types usually hunt during the day (diurnal), others are only active for hunting during the night (nocturnal).

Normally, diurnal spiders have got strong eyesight. They rely on their vision in fetching and hunting their prey during the day. On the other hand, other types of spiders, which are nocturnal, rely on their webs to hunt their food.

Each type of spider has different abilities that are suitable for their habits during the day or night. These abilities can range from stronger web material that stands the UV from the sunlight to a heightened sense of smell and heat sensing that enables the spiders to sense nearby prey and predators.

What Are Spiders’ Sleep Patterns?

Spiders don’t sleep — at least, not like us. Instead, they have an activity and rest pattern, which they alternate between according to the spider’s type.

Spiders don’t have eyelids, but they stop any activity and lay still for a couple of hours. Similar to humans and other animals, they need to rest their bodies, but they don’t fall asleep.

The ability to do so is essential for spiders that hunt their food using webs. That’s because they need to stay still for hours, waiting for insects to get trapped in the web.

Why Are Spiders Active at Night?

Many reasons are behind spiders’ night activity. The first is to avoid predators and the danger of being exposed because of the strong sunlight.

Some spiders species can substitute eyesight with other senses that help them hunt. These spices use other senses like smell, and motion, to identify the surrounding environment.

However, daily activity is essential to find more food, and to get sunlight, to strengthen their silk.

Do Spiders Have Good Eyesight?

Spiders have multiple eye sets, which range between two to eight. Spiders are identified by scientists by counting the eye’s set number. They also differentiate spiders according to the way their eye sets are arranged.

Surprisingly, their vision isn’t strong. It barely indicates the light changes surrounding them. Besides, they don’t mainly depend on eyesight as much as they rely on other senses to move and hunt their food.

They can sense the heat of other creature bodies, and the vibration on the web from the movement. Plus, it was found that their eyes contain Tapeta. Tapeta is an eye layer found in creatures who are known to hunt at night.

The Difference Between Diurnal and Nocturnal Spiders

Spiders are labeled diurnal or nocturnal according to the hunting method that they use. Diurnal spiders are more active and move around during the day until they find food.

Nocturnal spiders, on the other hand, depend on their captivating techniques to catch a fly. These species have the ability to be motionless for hours, and have a strong smell and touch senses.

There are many more differences between both categories, other than day and night activities. These differences are found according to each species’s abilities and natural skills.


Web builders don’t hunt for prey. They set a trap and wait for the prey to fall in it. They feed on flying insects, such as butterflies and mosquitoes. They build the web and wait for the insect to get trapped in it.

Mainly, uniting types of spiders, which are usually active during the day, prey on fast running insects, such as beetles, and crickets. Because they’re fast enough to run after and catch these insects, they have more food variety than nocturnal types of spiders.

Additionally, a few types of spiders feed on things other than insects. Some species found in the USA were discovered to feed on the leaves of trees. Water spider types, who can construct their webs on water, feed on small fish.

Spiders vary in the way they hunt food, but they don’t bite or chew. Instead, they use other feeding techniques. All spiders inject venom into their prey, liquefying their prey from the inside out.


All spiders can produce silk, but not all species build them for hunting. It was recently discovered that diurnal spider webs are different from the webs of nocturnal species.

Orb weavers, a common type of spider, are known to have a different web pattern. They use an extra silk design, to style the web in a unique way.

This design is called “Stabilimenta”, and it is specifically made by orb weavers to be seen during the daylight.


Sunlight is another reason why some spiders are active at night. Sunlight can be harmful to certain types of spider webs.

According to researchers, sunlight can weaken the dragline of nocturnal spiders. Therefore, it weakens the net structure, and the prey can easily break it and run away.

Diurnal types of spiders evolved resistance against the harmful sunlight, so the web draglines don’t get affected by the sunlight.

Final Thoughts

Not all spiders are nocturnal, but fortunately, they’re afraid of humans. They’re fast and that’s why they vanish as soon as you see them.

Fortunately, diurnal spiders move during the day with the purpose of hunting, and never hurt humans unless it feels threatened.

Nocturnal spiders don’t move much at night and depend on their webs to hunt their food. So, the chances are less likely for you to run into a spider during the night.

Scientists believe that spiders were originally nocturnal creatures. They believe that some species evolved new physical abilities to enable them to be active during the day, where they can find a variety of food.