How tiny are spiderlings? Need appropriate size air holes if I breed.

SpidderMom

Arachnopeon
Joined
May 6, 2017
Messages
2
Not sure if I want to keep my black widow's egg sac and raise baby spiders. How tiny are these little guys gonna be? I'd want to make sure my air holes are small enough to keep them inside their jar. Don't need a bunch of babies running amuck in my bedroom, lol!

Thanks!

Tanya
 

chanda

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Jun 27, 2010
Messages
2,059
Black widows do not need air holes. If you have any ventilation holes at all, the spiderlings will escape. I've kept black widows successfully in 2-liter clear soda bottles or plastic water bottles with the screw cap on and no ventilation holes at all. The only air exchange was when I unscrewed the top for feeding - and they did just fine. I've also used 32 oz deli cups with plastic lids with the poly fabric over the ventilation holes like this: http://www.tsksupply.com/poly-fabric-vented-lids/

Both set-ups worked well for keeping Mama and her brood contained.
 

TheSpiderChick

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 14, 2010
Messages
28
I have a ton of experience with about a krazillion baby black widows and other true spider spiderlings.

So I'm just going to be blunt and say that you probably should not try to keep the egg sac and raise the spiderlings. I would advise against it.

That is just my opinion, but here are some reasons:

1) Black widow spiderlings are eentsy dots (and they start out white, by the way). They can get out of really small holes and gaps. Without mega-precautions, they can easily sneak out undetected when you just open a lid to mist them or feed them. That means there is a pretty high potential for an unknown number of Latrodectus growing up in undisclosed locations in your living area.

2) They are not easy to care for. They will start out by eating each other, but will eventually need to be separated out to some degree, which means planning for a whole bunch of separate containers. And you’ll need to feed them somehow, so you'll need to plan what you will offer to spiderlings that are (much) smaller than the head of a pin. They also need very regulated moisture, as they can desiccate really easily or stick to a tiny drop of water and drown. They need your time and energy, and if you neglect them, they will die. Even if you don’t neglect them, many will die. And it’s almost certain that you will inadvertently kill some just by dealing with them at all. They are practically invisible and delicate and will crawl around like crazy trying to get out and will get smushed as you close the container, or as you open the container, or any number of other ways you can't even imagine. That’s just how it is.

3) There will be A LOT of them. I’ve had well over 100 Latrodectus spiderlings emerge from an egg sac. It’s hard to keep track of that many crawling babies! You WILL lose some. Seriously, they are tiny and out of control! Then once you separate them into smaller groups, they will take up a lot of space. That’s a lot of meals to prepare, no matter what’s for dinner. They die very easily, and that plus cannibalism (necessary) means you won’t end up with that many, but…

4) You will probably end up with some surviving, if you’re lucky. Now what? Do you have a plan to care for 10 more black widows for 2 to 5 years?

If you DO decide to keep them: "air holes" are a bad idea. Chanda is right, they don’t really need ventilation for breathing. But if there is no ventilation at all, you are inviting issues with fungus or bacteria growth, and at the very least, stinky, stagnant air. One option is a cotton ball or piece of foam stuck into a hole cut into the lid of whatever container. This is handy because it offers a fairly easy way to open the container for misting and feeding. But be REALLY careful when you pull it out for that, because they WILL be attached to it and will immediately drop on invisible web lines. Then you have almost-invisible-dots-of-spider floating around in air currents you can’t feel, and crawling, and ballooning, and leaving. Another option is to stretch a piece of pantyhose or cloth over an opening.

Keep in mind that if your spider has laid one egg sac, she will definitely lay more. I’ve had Latrodectus lay 14+ egg sacs over the course of their lives.

It is also possible that the egg sac is not viable. I don’t know where you got your spider from. If she is wild caught and she has not molted since you’ve had her, then she has probably mated and the eggs are fertilized. (males mature first, and will often hang out in or near the webs of an immature female so they can swoop in and mate as soon as she completes her final molt, horny little impatient dudes.) If she has molted since you’ve had her and she hasn’t had a male in there with her, then the egg sac is definitely unfertilized and the eggs will not mature or hatch.

So… if you make the wise decision to NOT deal with 100 spiderlings the size of a pinhole, then you have to figure out what to do next.

If your spider was wild caught near you, you can pull the egg sac out (be very careful, this is when widows are most defensive, and therefore more dangerous) and put it outside, preferably in a protected location far from your home (under the edge of a log or rock, under a dense bush or a plant with large leaves).

If your spider is not native to your area, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT put the egg sac outside. You DO NOT want to introduce an invasive species to your area. So you could stick it in the freezer for several days, or put it into a sealed container or ziplock bag, then set it in the direct sunlight for several days. (for either option, the longer, the better). Those would be humane ways to assure that the eggs do not hatch.

PS: OK, so that was SUPPOSED to be a super quick answer, and instead I took a million years and wrote a novel. Oh yeah, NOW I remember why I so rarely post on stuff like this. Sigh. More than you asked for, but hey, now you know.
 
Last edited:

RTTB

Arachnoprince
Joined
Dec 4, 2016
Messages
1,765
Well I won't ever be raising Lactrodectus spiderling. Phew!! That's dedicated work.
 

basin79

ArachnoGod
Active Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2013
Messages
5,075
I have a ton of experience with about a krazillion baby black widows and other true spider spiderlings.

So I'm just going to be blunt and say that you probably should not try to keep the egg sac and raise the spiderlings. I would advise against it.

That is just my opinion, but here are some reasons:

1) Black widow spiderlings are eentsy dots (and they start out white, by the way). They can get out of really small holes and gaps. Without mega-precautions, they can easily sneak out undetected when you just open a lid to mist them or feed them. That means there is a pretty high potential for an unknown number of Latrodectus growing up in undisclosed locations in your living area.

2) They are not easy to care for. They will start out by eating each other, but will eventually need to be separated out to some degree, which means planning for a whole bunch of separate containers. And you’ll need to feed them somehow, so you'll need to plan what you will offer to spiderlings that are (much) smaller than the head of a pin. They also need very regulated moisture, as they can desiccate really easily or stick to a tiny drop of water and drown. They need your time and energy, and if you neglect them, they will die. Even if you don’t neglect them, many will die. And it’s almost certain that you will inadvertently kill some just by dealing with them at all. They are practically invisible and delicate and will crawl around like crazy trying to get out and will get smushed as you close the container, or as you open the container, or any number of other ways you can't even imagine. That’s just how it is.

3) There will be A LOT of them. I’ve had well over 100 Latrodectus spiderlings emerge from an egg sac. It’s hard to keep track of that many crawling babies! You WILL lose some. Seriously, they are tiny and out of control! Then once you separate them into smaller groups, they will take up a lot of space. That’s a lot of meals to prepare, no matter what’s for dinner. They die very easily, and that plus cannibalism (necessary) means you won’t end up with that many, but…

4) You will probably end up with some surviving, if you’re lucky. Now what? Do you have a plan to care for 10 more black widows for 2 to 5 years?

If you DO decide to keep them: "air holes" are a bad idea. Chanda is right, they don’t really need ventilation for breathing. But if there is no ventilation at all, you are inviting issues with fungus or bacteria growth, and at the very least, stinky, stagnant air. One option is a cotton ball or piece of foam stuck into a hole cut into the lid of whatever container. This is handy because it offers a fairly easy way to open the container for misting and feeding. But be REALLY careful when you pull it out for that, because they WILL be attached to it and will immediately drop on invisible web lines. Then you have almost-invisible-dots-of-spider floating around in air currents you can’t feel, and crawling, and ballooning, and leaving. Another option is to stretch a piece of pantyhose or cloth over an opening.

Keep in mind that if your spider has laid one egg sac, she will definitely lay more. I’ve had Latrodectus lay 14+ egg sacs over the course of their lives.

It is also possible that the egg sac is not viable. I don’t know where you got your spider from. If she is wild caught and she has not molted since you’ve had her, then she has probably mated and the eggs are fertilized. (males mature first, and will often hang out in or near the webs of an immature female so they can swoop in and mate as soon as she completes her final molt, horny little impatient dudes.) If she has molted since you’ve had her and she hasn’t had a male in there with her, then the egg sac is definitely unfertilized and the eggs will not mature or hatch.

So… if you make the wise decision to NOT deal with 100 spiderlings the size of a pinhole, then you have to figure out what to do next.

If your spider was wild caught near you, you can pull the egg sac out (be very careful, this is when widows are most defensive, and therefore more dangerous) and put it outside, preferably in a protected location far from your home (under the edge of a log or rock, under a dense bush or a plant with large leaves).

If your spider is not native to your area, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT put the egg sac outside. You DO NOT want to introduce an invasive species to your area. So you could stick it in the freezer for several days, or put it into a sealed container or ziplock bag, then set it in the direct sunlight for several days. (for either option, the longer, the better). Those would be humane ways to assure that the eggs do not hatch.

PS: OK, so that was SUPPOSED to be a super quick answer, and instead I took a million years and wrote a novel. Oh yeah, NOW I remember why I so rarely post on stuff like this. Sigh. More than you asked for, but hey, now you know.
If ever there was an argument for being able to give multiple ratings to one post this is it. Informative. Once read I then agreed with it. And liked it. Rereading it I loved it.

Thorough, honest and practical.

Fantastic, fantastic post.
 

TheSpiderChick

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 14, 2010
Messages
28
If ever there was an argument for being able to give multiple ratings to one post this is it. Informative. Once read I then agreed with it. And liked it. Rereading it I loved it.
Thorough, honest and practical.
Fantastic, fantastic post.
Wow, thank you so much! I was feeling a little ridiculous for getting so detailed, so I really appreciate the feedback! I'm so glad you enjoyed it!
 

basin79

ArachnoGod
Active Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2013
Messages
5,075
Wow, thank you so much! I was feeling a little ridiculous for getting so detailed, so I really appreciate the feedback! I'm so glad you enjoyed it!
What you've got to remember is that although you where advising the OP your post will be available for others to see and search for on here if they have a similar question. And it'll also come up on Google searches so it could continue to help others for years.
 

TheSpiderChick

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 14, 2010
Messages
28
What you've got to remember is that although you where advising the OP your post will be available for others to see and search for on here if they have a similar question. And it'll also come up on Google searches so it could continue to help others for years.
That is exactly why I usually end up taking so much time (read: obsessive) on answers and consultation I do online. I am very particular about making sure that anything I put out there is accurate. Since my whole deal is spider education, busting myths and misinformation, etc, I work very hard to be thorough and accurate whenever I post something. It's always rewarding to see someone appreciate that. Thanks.
 

The Snark

Dumpster Fire of the Gods
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
8,303
That is exactly why I usually end up taking so much time (read: obsessive) on answers and consultation I do online. I am very particular about making sure that anything I put out there is accurate. Since my whole deal is spider education, busting myths and misinformation, etc, I work very hard to be thorough and accurate whenever I post something. It's always rewarding to see someone appreciate that. Thanks.
You are obviously following a criteria. Elucidating that would be quite helpful for others.
 

The Snark

Dumpster Fire of the Gods
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
8,303
@The Snark, sorry, I'm not sure I understand what you'd like me to explain. I'd be happy to elucidate (I love that word!) if you could clarify, pretty please.
Your verbose reply, above, was held to a standard of covering details meticulously. We need more detailed replies like that along with, if possible, the criteria you followed to cover the bases as you did.
Also @The Snark, thanks for the lollipop rating.:D But what does it mean? o_O
I use the Lollipop because we don't have a click for 'Hey, that works for me' or similar.
 

SaraFuret

Arachnopeon
Joined
Sep 1, 2017
Messages
5
New question help, please...
If you burst an egg sac, when trying to remove it... From an L. hasselti... Can they hatch in then terrarium?!
 

Sergic

Arachnosquire
Joined
Jun 5, 2015
Messages
73
New question help, please...
If you burst an egg sac, when trying to remove it... From an L. hasselti... Can they hatch in then terrarium?!
It probably depends how far along they are in their development.

Supposedly the answer is yes regardless, and there is a lab that has separated individual eggs from sacs and had spiders successfully develop outside the egg sac. In practice, I think it's not a sure thing. I've had female L. hesperus make sacs that weren't sealed and their eggs spilled on the bottom of their deli cup. Those eggs did not hatch.

I have purposely pulled egg sacs open before they hatch, but after the spiderlings have developed to L1, and I've seen no problems with survival from that.

So that's really just a long way of saying if they were close to hatching anyway, they should be fine, but if not there is a chance they will still develop.
 

Ungoliant

Malleus Aranearum
Staff member
Joined
Mar 7, 2012
Messages
3,825
If you burst an egg sac, when trying to remove it... From an L. hasselti... Can they hatch in then terrarium?!
It really depends on how far along they are. Eggs are likely to desiccate outside of their protective sac. First-instar spiderlings (or maybe even eggs with legs if placed in an incubator) have a chance. (By incubator, I don't mean a warming device, just something that helps protect from desiccation.)
 
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