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Young Wolf Spiders Dispersing

8-10-18 wolf spider 076Earlier 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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12 responses

  1. Ellen Hoffman

    When I grew green beans mulched with hay I had a lot of wolf spiders and never a bean beetle!

    August 10, 2018 at 8:49 am

  2. Sharon sparlin

    At dusk, my camping friends jumped up in alarm as something scurried under the picnic table. I shined a light under the table and saw what looked like a large spider that floresced. Then I realized it was dozens of baby eyes in her back. So fun!

    August 10, 2018 at 9:25 am

  3. Sharon Parker

    Do wolf spiders like to live in bathrooms! I’ve seen several similar looking creatures in mine.

    August 10, 2018 at 9:45 am

  4. Jean Freebern

    Do all spiders bite?? What are the really black ones that are sometimes very large.??

    August 10, 2018 at 10:20 am

    • Hi Jean,
      All spiders can bite, some are more aggressive than others. I’m not sure about the black spider you referred to. Would have to see a photo of it, and even then, spiders are challenging to i.d.!

      August 10, 2018 at 10:23 am

  5. Margaret Jernstedt

    Please note:  New email address:  Margaret.Jernstedt@comcast.net

    From: Naturally Curious with Mary Holland Reply-To: Naturally Curious with Mary Holland Date: Friday, August 10, 2018 at 8:40 AM To: Subject: [New post] Young Wolf Spiders Dispersing

    Mary Holland posted: “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 “

    August 10, 2018 at 10:41 am

  6. Emel Cambel

    My daughter often encounters wolf spiders, which are quite large, in her house. Is there a way to discourage their being in the house? Some years there are many! Why are they so attracted to her dwelling?

    August 10, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    • You commonly find wolf spiders, especially I find, in bathrooms. Probably the shelter they provide, plus a supply of some type of insect…if there is a way to discourage them, I’m not familiar with it!

      August 10, 2018 at 2:24 pm

  7. Alice Pratt

    That’s interesting that Wolf Spiders are the only spiders who carry their egg sac & spiderlings like that.

    August 10, 2018 at 1:45 pm

  8. Diane Alexander

    When I read this I think I’m glad that I’m human and then I wonder if baby’s on a hip are so much different. 🙂

    August 10, 2018 at 5:07 pm

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