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Basilica Spider Egg Sacks

Discussion in 'True Spiders & Other Arachnids' started by Mamata Polle, Mar 13, 2012.

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    Hi,

    Last year I had a alot of Basilica Spiders above a hedge next to my house, I did everything I could to encourage their presence because they're good for catching mosquitos and biting midges. For a long time I watched one particular female, Shima, and she made a set of nine connected egg sacks in that special way the Basilica's do. After she disappeared I kept watch over the eggs and waited for them to hatch. About a week ago I finally had to trim that hedge and thus removed the eggs and brought them inside. At this point I wasn't even sure that they were still alive, as I've NEVER seen spider eggs take so long to hatch. Well anyway, having seen alot of vids on how to open a spider or tarantula egg sack, I decided to find out what was going on. The first sack was a different color, sort of blackened, and all the occupants while fully formed, were dead. However, the second sack, which was the same color as all the rest, contained nine fully formed slings, (Honestly I don't know how they all fit!) These are all now doing very well in my little make shift incubator. I noticed that the skin of the actual sack is VERY hard, how do they get out? So my questions are:

    1. I want as many of them t survive as possible, because they're very beneficial around here. Should I take the remaining seven sacks outside again, or should I open them, incubate the slings for a little while, and then release them in choice places?

    2. How long should I incubate the slings?

    P.S. They are about the size of a pin head and already produce silk.

    Be Well and God Bless,

    Mamata
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Malhavoc's

    Malhavoc's Arachnoking Old Timer

    fruit flies. Small jar; warm, wait a few instars, release. though you may need to serperate them when they start feeding.

    also they get out by chewing through the silk I believe.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2012
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Thank you,

    I should re-string the eggs outside to hatch naturally; I would LOVE to raise all the slings myself, but I barely have the means to raise the nine that I have! I was really tempted to go ahead and open the other sacks because I had the silly idea that the little spiders might not be able to get out. Then I started thinking, they're hard for a reason right? So they must get out some how... I guess I should learn to trust that Mamma Spider knew what she was doing! :) Come to think of it, perhaps the egg sacks are like that because they're weather proof? These eggs overwintered outside, even through a few freezes. Maybe the spiders lay dormant inside until the warm weather comes... could that be why they were so fully formed, yet had not emerged?

    BTW the nine slings are doing great! They haven't even taken food yet but somehow they look a little bigger? Incidentally, I was embarrassed to say before, but my, "Incubator," is in fact a small jar lined with a moist paper towel that I change regularly, I keep them in a very warm room. It sounds so low-tech but they seem to really like it.

    Be Well and God Bless,
    Mamata
     
  4. Malhavoc's

    Malhavoc's Arachnoking Old Timer

    Most true spiders egg sacs are made to over winter, so this could explain the reason of their hard exterior, and yes they certianly are ment to be weather proof, as far as the duds go; The reason spiders make so many egs is that only a few make it to adult hood.

    As far as your nine little friends, They will grow rapidly while young; shedding immediatly after hatching then again often a few days later, each new stage of life after a shed is called an 'instar' Once you see them sitting in a typical fashion in their sheeet web feel free to try and offer a few fruit flies, Even pieces of freshly killed insects work as they often will scavange at a young age; For smaller slings (baby spiders) I like to use cricket legs; big, juicy dont expire fast and easy to get caught in their webs.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2012
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Thanks again! :)

    That does make sense about the egg sacks, they would have to be pretty tough to survive being suspended in mid-air, outside for months.

    The slings are sitting in a web that they made in the top of the jar, all nine are hanging right over the center. They haven't shed yet but they do look a little bigger. They also look more like their Mother now, having turned bright yellow with some markings on the abdomen. I'll get them some food today a and try to take another picture so I can post it here.
    Thanks for your help Malhavoc's
    Be Well and God Bless,
    Mamata
     
  6. Malhavoc's

    Malhavoc's Arachnoking Old Timer

    I wanted to add something in, that I thought may be of use to you;

    This spiders love shrubs leaves bushes etc where they can make their unique webs, that are absolutly wonderful; However, they also in enclosures like to web up the entire surface of the top areas to make these webs, you jar idea is what most users here would likely use, I do not know if you do this already- but try inverting the jar, so the lid is actualy the base; this keeps yu from disturbing them when they go upwards; and allows you to change the substrate beneath them without damaging their homes!

    May you find hours of viewing pleasure with your new offspring!


    In regard to their size increasing, It could be a few factors, spiders do not grow like us, they shed their skins and are limited by their current skin; Its more of a bone then actual flesh like us; thus it doesnt shrink or expand (except for their abdomens) what you could be seeing could be them swelling up prior to a molt; building up the internal preasure to cast away old skin and emerge new- you could also be seeing this by seeing the exo underneath as you can with some spiders before they molt. Or it could be they are drying from their last molt expanding into proper form and ready to begin their lives! Very fascinating creatures, I think so long as you stay on your current course you will do fine, my only cuation is direct sunlight on thier jar as you wouldnt want to bake them.
     
  7. What a great idea!
    You must have read my mind, I've been sitting here wracking my brain trying to think of a way keep that paper towel clean without making them rebuild every time I change it! LOL And no I keep them out of the light, I figure if I would be comfortable then they're probably comfortable. After all spiders usually fidget alot if they're uncomfortable right?
    I'll be sure to take more pics as soon as possible!
    Thanks again!
    Be Well and God Bless,
    Mamata
     
  8. Malhavoc's

    Malhavoc's Arachnoking Old Timer

    Glad to of been able to help! Sometimes thinking outside the 'jar' helps!