Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Spider Part 4

Today my kitchen window spider laid her second egg case.  I felt extremely fortunate to get to watch her complete this task over an hour or two.  She began by creating the top part of the silky egg case, which she attached to the top window frame.  It looked all white and cottony.  Then, when it was about 1/3 of the way spun, she began squirting a yellow fluid out of her abdomen - the eggs.  They did not come out of the tail end, where the spider silk comes from, but rather from the middle of her belly.  The eggs were included in a yellow, gel-like blob, and she pushed them out in convulsions, reminding me of a human woman in labor.

After her eggs were out, she completed the strands of silk around the eggs, forming them into a lumpy oval ball.  It changed from white to gray, looking like the dust one would find under a house.  I expected her to be greatly diminished in size; she was smaller after giving birth, but not as much as I thought she would be, considering the size of the egg sack.  

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