Panic in Spider City

I didn’t update yesterday, and nothing much today either, because I’m new to this spider business and have lots to learn — like planning ahead. I’ve got all these vials full of spider babies right now, and they have eaten all of my flies, every one. I set up four more bottles of flies a bit more than a week ago, and they’re at the stage where I’ve got lots of pupae but the adults haven’t eclosed yet, which should happen any day now. But it means my babies are hungry right now, and I’ve got nothing to give them.

I’m a bad spider daddy.

I set up a bunch more fly bottles today and will start staggering production every 3 or 4 days, but wow, when you’ve got a few hundred spiderlings, the logistics of keeping them supplied with flies is a little more involved than I expected. Also, I don’t quite have the rhythm yet. The goal is to raise just enough to maintain a small colony at a stable productive size, and right now I’m producing to excess because I’m uncertain about mortality and how quickly they’ll be consistently reproducing. At a guess, they reproduce a lot faster than I expected!


  1. kestrel says

    And no Purina Spider Chow to be had any where.

    This happened to me once with hatching fish and my brine shrimp not yet hatched. Too bad the spiderlings can’t eat brine shrimp, or zebra fish…

  2. monad says

    Weren’t these from locally collected parents? If there are excess spiderlings, can’t you just let them go?

  3. weylguy says

    Dr. Myers, you might want to venture into the garden and dig up some flies for your ravenous pets. But if you find one that’s screaming Help me! Help me please! just leave it alone.

    BTW, that’s my favorite Gary Larsen comic of all time.

  4. grim says

    Run a net through some tall grasses. You’ll get plenty of little bugs for your little bugs to eat. ideally you’d do this when it’s warmer and sunny, but you can can almost always make do.
    (although, maybe not? maybe you don’t want to infect your stock with any parasites or whatever out there in the wild?)

  5. jack16 says

    Again I recommend reading Jean Henri Fabre’s “The Life of the Spider (1912)”. Maybe gander the rest of his writing too?


  6. DanDare says

    This is going to turn ugly somehow. You will dissappear but your lab will be covered with web. Don’t you ever watch horror movies or the Twilight Zone?

  7. anchor says

    Leave a juicy peach (or anything like it) with a modest starting group of adult fruitflies and you’ll have more than you (or your spiderlings) can handle within a week.