Meta menardi has a different variety of prey compared to many of the other spiders most people would think of.  Most spiders will prey on the flying insects and other flying prey sources, but the European Cave Spider captures most of its prey near the walls and ground.  A large number of invertebrates are considered prey to Meta menardi (Smithers 2005).  The majority of the prey that Meta menardi will fMeta menardi east on can be divided in three main groups (Smithers 2005).  The groups consist of organisms that enter to seek shelter over winter from the external environment, organisms that move down the soil profile, and member of the inner cave that move up into the twilight zone (Smithers 2005).

The prey for most of these cave spiders are members of the ground or soil environment and litter fauna including myriapods and slugs that move around the ground or on along the walls (Smithers 2005).  These species travel along the outermost surface of the cave and include woodlice, beetles, centipedes, millipedes, overwintering butterflies and moths.  The technical terms for the myriapod prey that is most consumed by Meta menardi are julid millipedes, Nanagona, polydesmoides and goephilomorph centipedes (Smithers 2005).  Nanagona seemed to be the main prey through the spring and summer months, which is uncommon because due to the fact that they live in subterranean chambers (Smithers 2005).  They seem to have their highest capture rates in spring and fall, mainly because of migration with many species (Novak et al. 2010).  Also, many species that live in the soil must leave their natural habitat during the harder wintery conditions allowing Meta menardi to prey on them (Smithers 2005).  Carabidae are found in the diet mainly during the spring months coming in through the entrance from the woodland (Smithers 2005).  Trichoptera are mainly consumed in early spring and early fall, which seem to emerge based on water sources outside the cave or habitat (Smithers 2005).  European Gastropod shell

Meta menardi has shown it will stay away from the large amount of flying insects that accommodate the cave walls mainly because they don’t attract the spider’s attention with their limited movement (Smithers 2005).  Seasonal abundance is an important contributing factor to the diet of the Meta menardi (Novak et al. 2010).  Gastropods are now said to be an important part in the diet, which is rare because most spiders do not include this. Their is more information about the prey of Meta menardi on the Interactions page.  The European Cave Spider has a very wide range of prey that it will consume throughout the year at different times.


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