Tuesday, August 11, 2020

A story of a spider and its eggs (July 2020)

During the lockdown as there was no external trips, this was the time I discovered the world of spiders. More about spiders seen around in later blogs.

One day while I was trying to observe a small black spider which was wrapping its prey which had stuck in its web a small bee flew into my view.

It was small and pretty. It sat on a small twig with a hole. I later saw it entering and exiting that hole. Note sure whether it had made a nest in it or not.

But as it took off it flew in the wrong direction and got stuck on a back side of a leaf.

Thats when i realized that it had got stock in small web woven on the back of the leaf and then I saw this pretty almost transparent green spider with a whitish body.

The bee freed itself and flew away.

While photographing the spider i realized that in fact it was guarding a clutch of 6 eggs. This was the 30th of July 2020.

The amazing part was that the clutch was laid in a perfect pattern to look like a circle. 

I started observing it everyday since then to see when they hatch and how the small spiders look like.

31st July 2020

2nd August 2020 the shape of the egg clutch changed and also the eggs become transparent.

On 4th August 2020 the shapes of baby spiders started to be clearly visible. 

And on this day i observed that the mother spider was repairing the web.

Each day the shape became more and more developed.

On 7th August they seemed to be almost developed and by evening they seemed to have started moving. 2 of them were still inside the web but other 4 were at different places on the leaf.

In the meantime on 4th of August by chance i also encountered another spider with clutches of 7 eggs under a leaf. The shape was same except the 7th egg was in the center.

And then surprisingly on this second nest on 7th August I saw a clutch of 4 more eggs being laid next to the 7 egg clutch.

Now lets look at some of facts of this spider.

Meshweb Weavers (Family: Dictynidae)

There are few genera in this family which are plant dwelling ones which are found in low vegetation as well as higher up. Here they build irregular, woolly mesh webs often made of bluish cribellate silk. This seems to be one of them as the other genera are ground dwelling.

In Cribellate spiders, the cribellum is the silk spinning organ. Unlike the usual spinnerets of spiders, the cribellum consists of one or more plates covered in thousands of spigots.

They posses 6 eyes. The legs are usually long without spines. The abdomen is oval to elongate and densely covered with fine hair. 

Finally to give a little perspective of its size.

Leaf2.5-3 inches
Mother Spider3-4 mm
Clutch of 6 eggs
(In perfect round shape)
1 mm diameter
Each egg0.3 mm diameter
Baby 0.53 mm

1 comment:

रवींद्र आपटे said...

Nice study. Would have been better if you had more powerful micro lens