Itsy Bitsy Spider

August 18, 2008

I was doing some cleaning around the house a couple of days ago, and look what I found nestled against the wall next to my front door…

It’s a Mama spider with four egg sacs, and that cluster you see on the top are actually spiderlings. I’ve noticed the Mama spider with the egg sacs (they’re the size of small cherry pits) for a week or so, but this was the first time I noticed the little ones. Ah, perfect time to practice some macro photography!

Closeup of Mama Spidey. What pretty tile-like patterns she has on her body! It looks so much like a seashell – in fact, my sister and I used to collect seashells when we were younger (we still have a few of our collections somewhere in our parents’ house), and I had quite a few seashells that had a similar pattern. After some searching online, I found a picture of that particular type of seashells (called Textile Cone seashells – how appropriate!).

Image source: Seashell World

Who knew spiders and seashells can have such cool body patterns? Back to the Mama spider. I have to be honest, aside from Daddy Longlegs and Black Widows, I don’t know my spider types and usually just categorize them as small, medium or EEEEYYIIIIIKES!!! Anyhoo, thanks to the wondrous world wide web, I found out that Mama Spider is an Achaeranea, or a Common House Spider. Well, I can’t call her that – it sounds too…um…common. No, I’m not naming her Charlotte either (too obvious); I will call her Shelly. Because she looks like a seashell. Yes, you can roll your eyes if that was too cheesy. :)

These spiderlings are super, super tiny! There has to be at least a hundred of them, and each of them are only slightly fatter than the “.” that you see here on the page – legs and all. So here’s what they would look like all lined up:


If spiders can dance, they would totally make an awesome dance crew! Just imagine what kinds of routines they can do with that many bodies.

Notice that the egg sac has the remains of an insect? Ooh, a little morbid, but I guess those baby spideys have to eat something, right?

Awww, they look just like Shelly!

When I checked back with Shelly today, her second egg sac has hatched. Congratulations, Shelly! You’re the new proud Mama of another hundred spiderlings!

Extra yummy: I couldn’t help browsing around the Seashell World website where I found the Textile Cone seashell picture, and found this one that they also sell on the site:

Candy Cane Snail Sea Shells! Really, that’s the official name of these seashells. Sweet! I thought the description on the site was just too funny:

Candy Cane Snail Sea Shells – Please note that color quality varies from sea shell to sea shell. Measures approx 1. 5″. Please Note: This shell is not an edible item. Its a natural shell from the ocean. It gets its name due to its color.


Room Candy – always yummy!


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