Apr 14, 2008

Fishing Mothers

Here is the fishing spider, a devoted mother native to Ecuador. These spiders are able scurry across a pond or stream without breaking the surface of the water (a talent I thought only ninjas possessed). The mothers are noted for carrying their egg sac around with them wherever they go. I can only assume that the bulky sac hampers her hunting style, but such are the burdens of motherhood.

Thanks for the photo, Ida.


Jade said...

99% of female spiders won't hunt when they have a sac.

sensitivepoet said...

Yes, spiders can survive for quite a long time without food. I had the opportunity to observe some fishing spiders (Dolomedes sp.) at the zoo I worked at. When the egg sac was first laid, it would be round, relatively smooth, and white. As time went by, it darkened and became more irregular, sort of like a lumpy deflating ball (but growing bigger, with nymphs).

They will hang on to them pretty tightly. One of the spiders laid a virgin egg sac, and a keeper tried to take it away from her with forceps. She held on to it so hard that the egg sac finally split, spilling tiny eggs all over the place.