Monday, May 25, 2015

Carolina Wolf Spider with Eggs

The entrance to the Carolina Wolf Spider burrow is surrounded by a small forest of White Clover.  I periodically prune back the leaves directly over the burrow, but try to make a minimal impact so as not to discourage the spider from maintaining its residence in the burrow.

When I sneak in to have a look at the spider, I usually end up seeing nothing but an empty hole.  A glimpse of quick movement beneath the clover leaves is my most common confirmation that the spider is alive and well.

This morning, I got a glimpse of the spider far down in her burrow.  She is sitting at a point where the burrow makes a sharp turn to the left.  This turn makes it easy for the spider to retreat completely out of sight.  I have been eagerly awaiting some sign that she has produced a clutch of eggs.  According to everything I have read about this species, eggs should appear this spring.

During my evening visit to the spider, I noticed this white object at the mouth of the burrow.

In typical wolf spider fashion, the spider has enclosed its clutch of eggs in a silk envelope which is now attached to her abdomen.  Where she goes, so go the eggs.

The eggs should hatch sometime next month.  Following a time enjoying the care and protection of their mother, the young spiders should leave the burrow and begin life on their own.  This is the event I’m hoping to witness.  It is unlikely that the young spiders will stream from the burrow in a single mass.  I expect there to be a period of time where young spiders will be seen exploring around the burrow entrance or moving around the general vicinity of the burrow.  It’s also possible that the young will make short excursions from the burrow and then retreat back inside upon sensing danger.  I’ll keep making a daily check.  If I’m lucky, I should see the family leaving home and striking out on their own.  To read earlier posts about this particular spider, click HERE.

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