Cave spider

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A cave spider, s, is a type of monster that appears in NetHack. It is a tiny carnivorous and oviparous spider that is the most basic monster of the arachnid or centipede monster class. Cave spiders can move freely across webs, and can hide under items to catch you by surprise.

A cave spider has a single bite attack, and possesses poison resistance.

Eating a cave spider corpse or tin has a 114 chance of conveying poison resistance.

A character polymorphed into a cave spider can spin a web on their square using the #monster extended command.

The following information pertains to an upcoming version (3.7.0). If this version is now released, please verify that it is still accurate, then update the page to incorporate this information.

Cave spiders will randomly spin webs as they move - this random chance is based on the number of surrounding walls, making a spider more likely to spin a web in enclosed spaces.


Randomly generated cave spiders are always created hostile, and often appear in small groups. A cave spider can grow up into a giant spider, and can hatch from cave spider and giant spider eggs.[1]

Cave spiders appear among the random s that are part of the first quest monster class for Tourists and make up 24175 of the monsters randomly generated on the Tourist quest. They also appear among the random s that are part of the second quest monster class for Rangers and make up 6175 of the monsters randomly generated on the Ranger quest.

Cave spiders generated at level creation are given a random item to hide under.[2]


While cave spiders are not particularly dangerous as the first hiding monsters a character will likely encounter, they can move at the same speed as an unhasted character, and their 3 AC can make hitting them slightly difficult. Due to the spider's hiding habits, a thrown projectile causes them to "stick" in place often, allowing you to freely pick them off or even escape if the situation warrants it. This can also be put to use in some treasure zoos, where a hiding cave spider can block the door and hem in the other monsters; you can then attack them from range at your leisure, e.g. with a polearm or lance.


The cave spider first appears in NetHack 3.0.0.


The name "cave spider" can refer to any number of underground or cavern-dwelling species of spider, with one of the most commonly known species being the European cave spider (Meta menardi), which is a long-jawed orb-weaver spider. Various types of spiders are also frequently depicted as inhabiting caves in several forms of cultural folklore and other works of fiction, whether they are normally cave-dwellers or otherwise.

European cave spiders have a natural range extending from Scandinavia to North Africa, and from Europe to Korea; there are also transplanted populations as far apart as Japan and Madagascar. Adult cave spiders are photophobic and live in places free from light such as caves, mines and various tunnels, and emerge around dusk to hunt. After mating, female cave spiders produce drop-shaped egg sacs that usually hang from the roof of the habitat by a silk thread near the entrance - the cave spiderlings feed on the yolk of their egg sac until the first molt, and then exit the cave to disperse via ballooning. Spiderlings are strongly attracted to light unlike adult cave spiders, which may be an evolutionary adaptation.



In SLASH'EM, werespiders can summon cave spiders by calling for help.[3]

The Spider Caves generates several giant spider eggs on level creation that will generate cave spiders if allowed to hatch.


In dNethack, drow of all roles (except for Noblewomen) will start the game with a tame cave spider.


In xNetHack, cave spiders will occasionally spin webs while moving, with web-spinning being more likely in enclosed spaces.


In notdNetHack, in addition to dNetHack details, Chupoclops is generated with several cave spider eggs when summoned by an Illithanachronounbinder.


In EvilHack, cave spiders also spin webs while moving, with webs being more likely in enclosed spaces. Cave spiders grow up into large spiders, which can grow up into giant spiders.

Drow are capable of taming cave spiders and other spiders as domestic animals.

Encyclopedia entry

See the encyclopedia entry for spider.