How Do Spiders Give Birth to Live Young?
Some spiders lay eggs instead of giving birth. Eggs are a kind of sac, usually a silk ball. They can vary in size and color. In some cases, they are laid in a web or in a secure location.
Spiders often produce hundreds of eggs. Some females protect the egg sac until the babies hatch. Others leave it for the babies to fend for themselves.
Most spiders, both male and female, have a gestation period of up to four months. The baby spiders then continue to supplement their diet with milk from the mother until sexual maturity.
Spiders typically molt four to twelve times before becoming adults. Males go through fewer molts than females.
After the first molt, the spiderlings will leave the egg sac. They will disperse by ballooning. Other methods of dispersal include walking. Sometimes, females will hang the egg sac to keep the eggs safe from predators.
Some female spiders, such as the wolf spider, carry the egg sac in their spinnerets until it hatches. These mothers will then care for the young until they are ready to fend for themselves.
Females in other species will protect their eggs. Many species of spiders are capable of laying two to 1000 eggs in a single sac. These may range in color from pearly white to green. If the eggs are exposed, they may be protected by leaves or silk.
Wolf spiders can live up to three years. Mothers carry their babies around until they are old enough to fend for themselves.