Location: NSW, Australia
December 4, 2011 5:17 am
Hi again! Thought you might like this picture of a wolf spider and her egg sack. We found her while we where planting a mulberry tree.
We agree that this looks very much like a Wolf Spider, and that it most closely resembles the Garden Wolf Spider, Lycosa godeffroyi, which is pictured on the Brisbane Insect (and Spider) website. There is however, one very perplexing mystery for us. Wolf Spiders drag their egg sacs behind them from the spinnerets and Nursery Web Spiders including Fishing Spiders carry their egg sacs in their fangs or chelicerae like your individual. Here is a photo from our archive of a Fishing Spider with her Egg Sac and here is a Photo of a Wolf Spider with her Egg Sac, also from our archive. The Find A Spiderwebsite concurs with our statement: “Females produce a white or pale blue spherical egg sac and this may be carried around attached to the spinnerets. When the spiderlings hatch out they crawl onto the female’s upper surfaces, almost completely covering them. It is presumed this serves as an efficient means of dispersing the young spiders.” We hope to get some additional information on this mystery. Unfortunately, we cannot really make out the eye pattern arrangement in your photograph.
I have a theory about why she was carrying her eggs like that. We disturbed her burrow when we where digging the hole for the tree. So she probably had to grab them quickly, and didn’t have time to do the spinneret/silk thing. It was a shame to wreck her home, but we have LOTS of these spiders around our house. Kind of hard to avoid them. We moved her away after I’d gotten some pictures, so hopefully she found a safe spot for them to hatch.
Thanks for the theory Emma. We still hope to hear from a few folks we contacted.
Eric Eaton responds
You are correct to at least the family level. I suspect her egg sac became detached from her spinnerets and so she is carrying it this way for the time being; or perhaps the sac is about to hatch?