Nursery Web Spider with egg sac- Pisaurina sp.

Nursery Web Spider – Pisaurina sp.
Family Pisauridae
Nursery Web and fishing spiders

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macro photograph Nursery Web Spider
The nursery web spider carries her egg-sac, or coccoon, under her body until near hatching. She then spins a protective web in which her hatchlings live until their first moult.

These spiders resemble the wolf spiders (Lycosidae), but have a different eye pattern. Pisaurids have their eyes arranged in 2 rows, the posterior row slightly recurved, the median eyes in the second row slighly (if any) larger than the others. (Wolf spiders have eyes arranged in 3 rows). The egg sac is carried by the female under her prosoma, held there by her chelicerae and pedipalps. It is further supported by silk lines to the spinnerets. [1]

Before the eggs hatch, the female attaches the sac to a plant and then builds a web around it. When the eggs inside are hatching, the momma spider opens the cocoon and releases the hatchlings — then stands guard nearby. The hatchlings remain in the web until thier first moult. The Pisaurids forage for their food and build webs only for protecting their young.

macro photo Nursery Web Spider

Some spiders in this family, particularly fishing spiders in the genus Dolomedes, are quite large and may have a legspread of 75 mm or more.The Dolomedes spiders live near water; they walk on the surface of water and dive underneath it to feed on aquatic insects and even small fish. Fishing spiders also carry their egg-sac under their abdomen.

macro photo nursery web with spiderlings
Nursery web filled with hundreds of spiderlings

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Nursery Web Spider

  1. Paul Hillyard, Private Life of Spiders (New Holland Publishers Ltd, 2007).
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