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Wolf Spiders Closely Guarding Egg Sacs

5-24-16  wolf spider 008Spinnerets, located at the far end of a spider’s abdomen, serve as spigots through which silk is exuded, but they also have another function for some species of arachnids.  Female wolf spiders use their spinnerets to grasp their eggs sacs, enabling them to carry and guard their eggs until they hatch.   In order not to damage the eggs when she moves, the spider tilts her abdomen up slightly.  Catching prey with this added encumbrance and in this position must take great skill.  Once the wolf spider’s eggs hatch, the young climb up on top of the abdomen where they spend their first days before dispersing. (Nursery web spiders also carry their egg sacs with them, but clasp them with their jaws, or chelicerae, and small, leg-like appendages called pedipalps.)

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6 responses

  1. k

    These are the spiders that have helped me get over the worst of my fear of spiders -(yeah, I know it’s dumb but I can’t help it!) I have such respect for these protective little characters. They get quite frantic if separated from their egg sac. I appreciate that!

    June 9, 2016 at 11:07 am

    • I agree with Helen, K. Fear is overcome by getting to know something about the thing you’re afraid of. Then it often becomes fascinating!

      June 9, 2016 at 3:56 pm

  2. Helen Downing

    It’s not “dumb” or silly or anything negative to be fearful of insects of any kind. To be able to overcome it: Heroic. We all carry lasting fears from our childhoods. Personally, I find snakes creepy, but I do respect their place in the web of life.

    June 9, 2016 at 11:33 am

  3. Deborah Pasho

    Hi Mary,
    I think these are showy Lady Slippers. Tons more of them about to bloom in Eshqua Bog in Hartland, VT today.
    Debby

    >

    June 9, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    • Thanks for the head’s up, Debby. WordPress doesn’t allow me to see your photo, but the time is right for them to be just about flowering in Eshqua!

      June 9, 2016 at 7:05 pm

  4. I ushered one out of my leaf pile today, so I could gather some mulch without hurting her. The cold weather made her sluggish. Great weather for gardening though!

    June 9, 2016 at 10:25 pm

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