A Spider Family

(Zone 5a)

I recently found a new-to-me spider on the outside of our bird view window, but seen from the inside. Thankfully, it is a common one and it was actually listed in my Spider and Insect guide. A House Spider (Parasteatoda tepidariorum) Yep, the right habitat.

I first saw the female as she ate a fly she caught in her web. Later, the smaller, orange coloured male came along. The young children exclaimed, "They're cobwebbing each other." Maybe a courtship ritual. ??? I later read the male and female will often share the same web. With the female's larger size, she seems to rule the roost, so to speak. In this species, it does not appear the female eats the male. He's still around.

At times they look dead when at rest, and once I opened the window and lightly touched the Mister to check. Nope, he quickly dropped down, so was very much alive. He came back up later.

I saw her with an egg sac last week, but that was only seen from the outside, so I need to check on it. We had rain over the weekend.

Today, Mrs. has been struggling to wrap a larger beetle in a web. It is fighting for its life, so keeps freeing its legs. One of them surely are bound to wear out from exhaustion. The male spider seemingly tries to help, but the Mrs. fights him off. I guess this is not a species that paralyses prey before eating or saving for later.

This is my favourite way to learn, observation. Learning from the internet and books are fine, but it is so neat seeing nature at work like this.

Taking photos have been hard without a macro lens and perfect lighting, but I have a few on my camera. I'll post those later.

(Zone 5a)

I finally am getting my old picture on here. The original egg sac disappeared in a storm, but she (or another of the same species) made another egg sac a couple of weeks ago. Today, I just noticed tiny spiders are beginning to emerge from it. Not the explosion of spiders that I was expecting.

I was reading about another type of spider that stops eating after making her egg sac, and dies soon after they "hatch". Is that the right term for spiders? Well, my House Spider has been eating and did again early today.

There have been males and other females that come and go, but this one has stayed around.

Thumbnail by Chillybean
Dover AFB, DE(Zone 7a)

uh oh! I looked it up assuming that mine was a House Spider and had to continue looking. I think that mine's a Brown Widow and will be getting the shop-vac out to remove it. Most spiders are such helpful little workers. I had liked how clean it kept it's web...

(Zone 5a)

Oh, that's disappointing. It has the red spot on it?

The little egg sac hatched and for several days, they stayed close to the mother. They have now spread out, some staying near the window and now Mom has laid another egg sac. She continues sitting near it. She and her eggs are hidden from outside view, so pretty safe from predators. I cannot imagine any bird getting in that spot.

Dover AFB, DE(Zone 7a)

Yes. :(

(Zone 5a)

Here is a picture of the mother with her young. I haven't seen her eating lately, but maybe she catches food at night.?? No males have come near in awhile either.

Thumbnail by Chillybean
(Zone 5a)

After the young dispersed, she laid a THIRD egg sac and diligently sits guard. And she is eating just fine.

Dover AFB, DE(Zone 7a)

Prolific mom!

(Zone 5a)

Mom laid a FORTH egg sac. I was quite amazed. She guarded it like always, but by Sunday morning, she disappeared. She was there the day before. She could have died, or one of those tree frogs that land on the windows might have gotten her. She was there so long, but figured it's the way things are.

Well, now that her guarding presence is gone, her last batch of young are on their own. They started coming out of the egg sac yesterday. I didn't realize how much work that mother actually did in protecting her babes. Another of these House Spiders is up in the mother's usual spot and is eating the young. It is about the third of the size of a full grown adult, so I suspect it was from one of the earlier hatchings. I am tempted to move that spider, but because there are several outside this window, another just may take that one's place. :(

(Zone 5a)

I couldn't help myself, and moved that spider. Then another came to that spot. It may have eaten a few of the young ones, but then bigger prey came along.

This is a spider at my kitchen window. on the inside. The first time I saw it, it was with this fly. So it stays. If it lays an egg sac, I am not sure I'd feel comfortable with having the whole brood in the kitchen. :)

I could not believe that it was able to wrestle this fly with the big size difference, but it did!

Thumbnail by Chillybean
(Zone 5a)

I had another Common House Spider in my kitchen, but my husband completely disturbed her spot by replacing the window. Humpf. I have no idea where she went.

Another female resides outside our bird view window. Here she is, resting with her mate.

Thumbnail by Chillybean

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