Earlier in the summer, you may have glimpsed a spider carrying its white egg sac around with it, clasping it with the spinnerets at the end of its abdomen. When the spiderlings hatch they crawl up their mother’s legs onto her abdomen, latch onto special knob-shaped hairs, and ride around with her for several weeks (see inset). Only wolf spiders carry their egg sacs and offspring in this manner.
After molting, which occurs mid-summer, the young spiders disperse. Eventually the mother is free to hunt for prey without the encumbrance of hitch-hiking offspring. If you look closely at the pictured wolf spider, you may be able to make out the last lingering spiderling located at the junction of the wolf spider’s cephalothorax and abdomen.
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