Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Ah, motherhood

Just in case

Just when you thought it was safe to visit this blog without seeing extreme closeup photos of bugs, I hit you with this. Mwah hahaha.

I was pulling weeds in my garden yesterday when I spotted what looked like a miniature white styrofoam ball (a little less than 1/4 inch in diameter) moving about in the dirt. Since miniature styrofoam balls tend not to move about in the dirt by themselves, I took a closer look and noticed a spider was attached to the ball. The ball was an egg sac and the spider was a female wolf spider (exact species unknown at this point).

The spider hunkered down under a clod of dirt. I placed a stone near the clod so I could find it again and asked momma spider to stay put for a couple of minutes while I dashed into the house to assemble my insect macro setup.

I returned with camera and flash unit five minutes later, located the dirt clod and was pleased to see that Mrs. Wolf had graciously decided to stick around for a photo session. I coaxed her out into the open (not an easy thing to do) and took several shots while laying on my stomach in the dirt (I wonder what the neighbors think).

Wolf spiders tote their egg sacs around until the young hatch, then the mother bites open the sac and the spiderlings climb onto the mother, where they ride around for a few days and gradually disperse.

And they never call after that.

Photograph © 2009 James Jordan.

2 comments:

Laurie said...

What a wonderful shot...I got a kick out of the visual of you in my mind's eye talking to the spider and crawling about in the dirt to get this shot. Fun post.

Sandy said...

This may be close to being my favorite photo blog..you take amazing photos.

I'll have to come back later to see more in your archives. Love love this photo.