A bad day in the spider lab

I had such high hopes this morning — necessary reagent had arrived, I had a nice egg sac, I was going to open it up and spend my afternoon exploring embryos. It was not to be. I teased apart the egg sac, and what do I find? Heartbreak. Disappointment. Failure.

The eggs were all dead. I’m not sure what happened here, but I have a hypothesis: this summer and early fall, I had all these fish tanks in the lab, gurgling away, and the place was pretty humid. Now those are shut down, and it’s winter in Minnesota, when the air dries out. Spiders like some degree of humidity, and I’ve been maintaining that by regularly misting their vials with an atomizer, but maybe that’s not enough for the embryos.

So I’m cranking up the moisture levels in the incubator. Now I’ve got to worry about balancing everything — too much and I’ll have to worry about mold and fungus.

Babies are such fussy little creatures.


  1. hemidactylus says

    PZ wrote:

    Spiders like some degree of humidity

    That explains the presence of my newfound shower buddy hanging upside down in the ceiling corner. Protecting me from flies I hope. Doesn’t move much. Should check for vitals.

    Haven’t seen any bugs in my bathroom so job well done.

  2. marcoli says

    Too much humidity may also be bad. Sorry to make you worry, though.
    Funny how they do just fine in the basement.