Super Mama Spider

I walked into the lab with some trepidation — I have lots of teaching stuff to do today, and I have one egg sac that is ready to pop, which would require me to spend a fair amount of time pushing baby spiders around and sorting them into vials. Fortunately, no new hatchings today, but look at this! She just won’t stop! (don’t be scared, it’s just one adult spider here, and she’s just a fuzzy blob.)

That’s one, two, three, four, five egg sacs. She made a new one! You can see the one almost about to hatch out on the left — the spiderlings have legs that are darkening up. Then, roughly in the middle, there’s one that’s getting a bit brown, and it’ll probably go in two weeks or so. Then THREE more at earlier stages of development. You can probably see mama in the back, too.

Also, look at all the spider poop on the bottom. It’s about time to do a cage cleaning.

I’ve got a reprieve today, but maybe a cloud of spiderlings to deal with tomorrow, or on Saturday.

Mama’s first generation is doing well, near as I can tell. A few of the females are getting so huge that they can barely move anymore, and now I’m worried that they might be getting egg-bound. Fish get egg-bound, where they are full of eggs, but they can’t get them out and they bloat up and can die horrible deaths. Can spiders get egg-bound? I don’t know. Maybe they’re waiting for a helpful male to fertilize them so they can start producing a third generation of egg sacs.

I might have to introduce some of the boys and girls to each other this weekend and see what happens.


  1. Snidely W says

    Zoo Doo is commercially available compost/fertilizer made from zoo animal poop and their bedding materials.
    Maybe there’s a side hustle to be had here.
    “Spider Doo”? “Arachno Doo”? “Formerly Drosophila Doo”? I dunno. I might not be got at this naming thing.

    As a super specialized kind of compost, you could charge premium prices!
    You’d be the only source, I’m sure. Nobody else would have this shit, as it were.
    How long would it take to whip up a ten pound bag?

    Just spit ballin’ here…

  2. ealloc says

    Looks like fun! As Voltaire wrote, one must tend to one’s spider-colony… err garden, it is the only way to render life supportable.

  3. Ridana says

    What will you do when your population exceeds your ability to house and care for them? Are you going to start releasing the excess back into the wild? Is that permitted since these are now research animals?