Saturday, November 30, 2013

A gift for Little Momma

Sorting old photos, I came across a file of spider shots that I'd put aside "to deal with later", and then forgot about. They showed a pair of American house spiders, Parasteatoda tepidariorum, grandkids of the one I'd been tracking since 2007, still living in the same corner.

I obviously hadn't looked closely at them, back in 2009. I did today. Look what I'd missed!

Day 1, afternoon. Female in her skimpy web at the bottom, male visitor (suitor) at the top left. The fat, "boxing glove" pedipalps identify him as a mature male.

Day 2, 5:48 PM. He approaches with a gift, a silk-wrapped weevil.

Will she accept the gift? If not, she may eat him instead.

Yes! "Thank you very much; this is delicious!"

5:49 P.M. 16 legs. They're mating. He's on the far side; you can still see his pedipalps. She's not letting go of the weevil, though.

5:50 Success! He's impregnated her, and escaped uneaten. She's busy.

5:55 He rests, she eats.

And the next day:

Day 3, 5:07 P.M. She's finished with the weevil, but he's brought her a gift-wrapped bug.

And from what I remember, they raised a healthy brood of spiderlings, several egg sacs worth.


  1. he's catching the bugs with her web though, right? Like the husband that grabs cash from the wife to buy her flowers?

  2. I think you're right! And she fell for it!

  3. Maybe that's where the tradition to bring candy to your date came from. Give her something to eat, so she doesn't devour you instead. - Margy

  4. Everybody loves a love story!!!Even one with 16 legs!!!


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