It’s been a fecund kind of day

We spent the afternoon largely engaged in moving our Parasteatoda females into larger, roomier quarters, using 5.7L Sterilyte containers, and then cutting up cardboard boxes to make frames inside the containers for them to build on. We discovered that the 10-can mini-can pop cases were exactly the right size to fit inside, so we zipped over to the grocery store and purchased way too many cases, just so we could get the cardboard. I bought most of it for my research student, who requested Mountain Dew — he’s sharing the bounty with his roommates, so it will be all my fault if a swarm of college students wired on caffeine rampage through the town tonight.

Yesterday, Mary and I went to Pomme de Terre Park, and has been our custom, prowled around looking for spiders. We found a magnificent Larinioides living in a tin shed down by the river, and caught it and brought it home. Look at it! It’s huge and beautiful!


We were just going to keep it overnight so I could photograph it, and then it produced a surprise for us.


Look at the pinkish area above and to the right of the spider. Here, I’ve centered it.


It’s a big egg sac! Tonight we’re going to return Mrs Larinioides to her home, but we’re keeping her offspring. I’ll tuck them into a nice spot in the incubator and check them regularly.

I’m not done with the fertility stories yet — we also found that the Steatoda triangulosa female we’d caught recently was not a virgin. She popped out this lovely egg sac last night. Look closely and you can see the eggs inside the veil.


I guess you could say it’s been a <whips off sunglasses> productive day.


  1. DonDueed says

    PZ, I’m shocked, shocked I say! I never imagined that you could stoop to baby stealing.

  2. wajim says

    Potato, potato, your local politicos need better imaginations (but of course I jest). Your realize, of course, the greater the breeding volume the more likely a metamorphic probability (i.e., Science) so, yeah, just sayin’ I saw the new Godzilla flick and you and your students better keep an eye out. You know, Spidera, and web not.