Two weeks ago, I found her busy making a blanket for a batch of eggs.
|Steatoda bipunctata, with egg case.|
If you look closely at the photo, you can see a dense white ball in the centre of the silk fluff she's making. Those are the eggs.
(The other cobweb spiders, the American house spiders, that I've watched making egg cases cover them in a brownish, rumpled, papery skin. It's impossible to see the spiderlings developing until they break out, some weeks later.) "Brownie's" silk blanket is a nice change.
After a week, the eggs were darker, and spreading out a bit.
|Egg mass against the window and blue sky.|
Brownie is a sleek, glossy spider, with a fat ball of an abdomen. After she laid her eggs, she was really thin, as thin as a male would be. I fed her more sowbugs, and she bulked up again. And this afternoon, when I went to see how the eggs were developing, there she was, weaving a blanket for another batch of eggs!
I left her to it; I'll pester her with a camera once she's resting.
And I'm wondering: she obviously hasn't seen a male since her last batch of eggs, locked in her box as she is. Does she save sperm for a second batch, or will these not be fertile? Will there actually be spiderlings in that second egg case?
Time will tell.