Fierce mama

Yesterday, we let Iliana play in a cardboard box. But before we could do that, we had to clear out the spiders that had rapidly colonized it first, and that’s how we caught this nice Parasteatoda. Last night, while we slept, she spun an egg case and laid a lot of eggs in it, and then today, I had to put her in a different container. She would not go. I tried every trick in the book to separate her from her egg case, and she would frantically scurry back up into the vial. Then I tried removing the egg case; no go. She had it tethered, and as soon as I got it away, thwip, she’d reel it back up. I had to give up and let her stay with her eggs. These spiders are extraordinarily maternal.

Nope, I’m not going to battle that to get her treasure. My party is going to have to level up a lot more.


  1. nomdeplume says

    Yes, they are very maternal, and this evolves into the Australian Wolf Spider behaviour – “The female wolf spider will diligently carry around her egg sac and even help the babies hatch by moistening the shell with her mouth. Once hatched, the babies will be patiently carried around on the mother’s back until they are old enough to survive alone.”

  2. malleefowl says

    Can you anesthetize spiders using carbon dioxide in the same way as Drosophila. It made handling flies simple.

  3. says

    They build complex webs inside the vial, and would just extend the webbing beyond the mouth of the vial. A spider isn’t just an organism, it’s an architecture.

    We’re not equipped with CO2 lines. I’m sure it would work, though — I use the lab I have, not the one I wish I had.

  4. says

    Find a welding supply or gas supply shop and get a 5# CO2 tank, regulator and some hose. Boom, portable spider anesthesiology.