Thursday, February 18, 2010

Infant care in Wolf Spiders!

We expect exciting mysteries to happen at nights rather than at daytime. Two years back at night I found a mysterious thing lying on the portico of the house. It was like a small fluff of wool lying flat on the floor. As I approached it to clear it away, my son alerted me that it was moving. So, I took a small twig in my hand and touched it carefully to test: there were seen many 'movements' out of that main one!

Those were the young spiders (spiderlings) jumping out from their mother, the Wolf Spider (Hogna radiata)! There were then hundreds of those tiny specks moving around. This kind of spiders lurk in burrows at daytime; they wander at night to hunt on smaller insects. The female of them carries its eggs in a sac that is attached at the end of its abdomen near the spinnerets. After hatching out from the eggs, the spiderlings climb up to the back of her to have a ride till they disperse!

Such is the wonder infant care seen in the Wolf Spiders as we, the mammals, have it also towards our young!

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