Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Spider mom

Yesterday, I met this wolf spider lady in our garage. She was two thirds up the inside of our back garage door. Right away, I noticed that her abdomen was bumpy. Kiddos! I took a few photos. Then I decided I'd better move her to a safer place because I noticed her slip a few times. She didn't have a whole lot of spiderlings on her backside. In the beginning, though, she would have. That's what this species does. Female wolf spiders carry their egg sacs around with them, using their spinnerets. After growing from embryos into spiderlings, they break out and scramble onto her back. There they stay. The ones that don't fall off, that is, or get eaten by someone else. That's why there's only a few left on this mother, and they're the biggest wolf spiderlings I've ever seen still with their mom.

I nudged her onto a blue plastic lid and took a few more photos. Then I set everyone inside a larger container. I wanted to show James before I let them go. After he got home and peeked, then I set the family outside beneath a lawn mower. I checked back later in the day, and the spider mother was still there. After her children disperse, she may live a while longer, then die. The cycle of life!

Blown-up inset from photo above

Blown-up inset from photo above

1 comment:

sandy lawrence said...

Fascinating! Thanks, I sent this to my grandchildren.

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