What’s with these MFing spiders in this MFing lab?

There hasn’t been much fertility in this lab, and I don’t know what’s going on. The spiders are getting weird and lazy. Here’s Yara (last seen here), who has been building thick clumpy cobwebs and also assembling debris into a nest — she’s partly obscured by a wood shaving here. The strange thing is above her, and to the left.

Those are unhappy looking eggs enclosed in a thin web, not an egg sac. I can say with some confidence that they’re not going to develop.

This is awkward and annoying. Next week I’m going to sterilize cages with alcohol and set up new frames and repopulate, hoping this problem will go away. Maybe they’re stressed? Maybe they’re just old and lapsing into decrepitude?


  1. wzrd1 says

    Has the dark/light cycle changed? Temperature change, due to overnight energy conservation?
    Sudden changes in orientation would send me looking at a change in light polarization.

  2. komarov says

    So, the spiders are acting weird. And you’ve been swapping around male spiders to get some breeding done. Hmm…

    Is there such a thing as spider syphilis?

  3. azpaul3 says

    What do your colleagues in other spider labs have to say? Any others around academia with the same species?

  4. vereverum says

    Provided a spacious, comfy, predator free home. Given huge amounts of food and waited on hand and foot by a personal servant. It’s not decrepitude, it’s decadence. They are taking you to the cleaners.

  5. arminid says

    Presumably, their diet would be much more diverse in the field… Perhaps, a steady diet of captive-reared fruit flies and worms is lacking some essential nutrient…?

  6. fishy says

    You used the word, “cages.” Could this be a problem? Maybe they need a larger environment. I’m thinking a refrigerator box, perhaps?