Click on the photo to see them full-size. One has a happy face on his belly.
The babies are the first progeny of "Little Momma", an American house spider, Parasteatoda tepidariorum. She lives in a corner beside my patio door, and has another batch on the way.
Little Momma, with bag of babies and lunch.
She is the granddaughter of Fat Momma, who raised a brood a few feet overhead in 2007. I wrote at length about her then, and want to review a few of the questions raised back then.
Here's the series: Parts I - Spider Watching, II - Fresh laid eggs!, III - Taking Candy from a Baby, IV - We Haz Babies!, V - Baby Pictures, VI - Post-coital bliss, sort of, and finally, Pleased to Meetcha!
Some of the questions I was asking then were, what happens to the males? And, how long does incubation take? Will the egg cases survive over the winter?
- Fat Momma ate at least one of her mates. Little Momma has had three that I have seen. I caught her eating one.
- Fat Momma's first two egg cases and one of another spider took 25, 27 and 33 days. I first saw LM's eggs exactly one month before they hatched. So 31 -32 days.
- And Fat Momma's final egg case hatched the next March. LM's second case is just a week old; it may have to hang around over the winter, too.
I found it interesting that LM hung her egg cases, as did her grandmother, out in the middle of nowhere. But a week ago, when the weather turned cold for a few days, she hauled them both over against a wooden shelf, well protected from the elements, and tied them down there.
The babies are pale cream, with grey dots in varied patterns. In the photo, full-size, two eyes stare straight ahead. The other six are not visible. I expect them to hang around the egg case for about four days, then start wandering; they will be dark and shiny by then. I'll keep close tabs on them, and maybe even get a few portrait shots.
Oh, and "Congratulations, Little Momma! Your babies are beautiful!"