Tuesday, August 21, 2007

We Haz Babies!

American house spider babies, that is. (Background posts: Spider Watching and Fresh-Laid Eggs!)

The proud mother:

Fat Momma with newest eggs

The Achearanea tepidariorum family; Momma, babies and egg case

Spiderlings! Aren't they cute?

I've been checking these eggs morning and evening. They first appeared Monday morning, the 20th. Which makes the incubation period, from July 26th to yesterday, 25 days. That question answered.

And she has laid a second batch of eggs, so I'll be looking for those babes the middle of September.

Next questions: 1. how many of those spiderlings will survive? 2. And how long will they sit around their old case before they move out? (I just checked with a flashlight; they are still clumped in the same spot.)

About the males: back in July, a small male hung around the web for a week or two. Then he disappeared, about the time she laid those eggs. I wondered if he had been eaten. Last week, there was another, a bit smaller; after a few days he had competition, a second tiny male. I kept an eye on them and watched one make advances up to within an inch or so away, but then he retreated to the edge of her web again. Yesterday, there was no sign of either male.

Question # 3: Does she eat the males as soon as they dare to breed with her? Or when she's ready to lay eggs?

Around the corner, Chica has laid her own eggs, the same day. Hmmm...

Chica. I love this photo, against the light.

2 comments:

  1. Anonymous2:17 pm

    Spiderlings are cute - I've only seen masses of them in photos, like yours. I have a spider and egg cases out in the garage - I'll have to keep an eye on them and see what I can learn.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've been trying to figure out how to capture one, by itself, without disrupting the group. I'll be watching closely; the first one to wander off on his own gets a chance at a brief career as a model.

    ReplyDelete

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