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Mothers Day special

April 24, 2021

The terms mother and spider do not usually appear together in the same sentence…unless it is something like ‘that Huntsman was the mother of all spiders‘. However Wolf Spiders are one of the few spider species where the mother looks after its young.

A previous blog commented on the discovery of a Wolf Spider carrying around its egg sac, pictured left. Spiders lay their eggs in a woven sac of silk. For many spiders the sac is fixed either within the web or on vegetation, for example under bark. Wolf Spiders do not build webs. They are ambush hunters and can also chase and catch prey. Wolf Spiders and the related Sac Spiders are unique in that they carry their egg sacs with them. A Sac Spiders carries its sac around with its pedipalps, the multi-functional organs at the front of the spider often mistaken for legs. For Wolf Spiders the sac is attached by a line of silk (see photo) to the spinnerets on the abdomen. When walking the spider has to raise its abdomen so that the sac does not drag on the ground.

The Wolf Spider is unique in the spider world in that when the young spiderlings leave the egg sac they climb up the legs of the adult and sit on its back, pictured above. The spiderlings may stay on the mother’s back for several weeks until they are old enough to fend for themselves. Last week Judy B from Limestone, famous for providing photos for this blog of dead things, captured this photograph showing exactly that, a mother spider with spiderlings aboard.

An early Happy Mothers Day to all, including all the Wolf Spider mothers out there.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Susan permalink
    April 24, 2021 10:47 am

    Amazing photos Ron and Judy B!

  2. Rebecca Bowles permalink
    April 26, 2021 7:44 pm

    No way will I be looking at these photos

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