An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide

Nursery Web Spiders Hatching

8-27-13 nursery web spider 169Nursery Web Spiders look a lot like Wolf Spiders, and the females of both families carry their respective egg sacs around with them until they hatch, but they do so in a different manner. Wolf Spiders grasp their egg sacs with the spinnerets (silk nozzles) located under their abdomen, whereas Nursery Web Spiders carry their egg sacs with their mouthparts. When hatching is imminent, the female Nursery Web Spider lashes leaves together with silk to form a protective shelter, or “nursery web,” for her egg sac and hatching offspring. The mother stands guard over her spiderlings, aggressively defending her young until they have had their first molt, after which both the spiderlings and the adult female disperse.

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2 responses

  1. Tom

    How do they disperse? Do they use their silk and the wind?

    August 27, 2013 at 11:47 am

    • Hi Tom,
      Yes, spiderlings do what is called “ballooning.” They spin threads of silk out of their spinnerets, enough so that the wind catches the silk and they float away…such a clever adaptation!

      August 27, 2013 at 1:13 pm

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