You probably didn’t know that spiders can be dedicated and attentive mothers. In the photo above, a Johnson’s Jumping Spider (from Los Angeles, California) is fiercely guarding her clutch of eggs.
Spider moms who want to keep their eggs safe have to be vigilant (on guard all the time!). Many animals (lizards, frogs, snakes and birds, to name a few) would be happy to make a tasty meal of the eggs, or of the spiderlings once they have hatched.
Before she lays the eggs, the spider mom carefully spins a soft mat of spider silk. Then she deposites the eggs onto the mat. When all of the eggs have been laid, she spins more silk over the top to hold all of the tiny orbs together. Spider moms have evolved many different ways to protect their precious eggs.
Some spiders wrap the whole batch of eggs in a watertight covering of silk and then carry the huge ball of eggs around with them to keep them safe until they are ready to hatch. That is what the spider below is doing!
Photo Credit: miriamshulman
Miriam Schulman lives in Los Angeles and has observed, read about, photographed, studied, and raised spiders for over eight years! From September through November she takes live spiders into local public schools and teaches children in grades 3 through 12 about these important and fascinating creatures.
Maybe she’ll come to your school soon!