What Is The Life Cycle of a Spider?

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What Is The Life Cycle of a Spider?

Every type of spider, from the smallest jumping spiders to the biggest tarantulas, has similar life cycle in general. Spider life is composed of three stages, namely egg, spiderling, and adult. Although the details of these stages can differ depending on the specific spider specie, they are still very similar.

Being arthropods, spiders have hard skeleton. Without an antenna and with their eight legs, spiders belong to their own unique class known as Arachnida. The arachnids are both carnivores and predators.

They usually use venom to kill off their prey and spit the digestive juices coming from their stomachs on their dead prey’s body, dissolving it prior to devouring the pre-digested bits.

But, how long do spiders live? Again, the answer will vary on the specific type of spider. So far, there are over 38,000 different spider species, most of which have unique breeding habits. However, in spite of these differences, all spiders still share several similar aspects as far as their life span is concerned.

Check out the different stages that a spider goes throughout its life.

Egg

Following mating, the female spiders keep the sperm until they are prepared to produce spider eggs. First, the mother spider will create an egg sac using a strong silk strong enough for keeping the developing offspring protected from the different elements. The mother spider will then deposit the eggs inside the sac and fertilize them while they emerge.

One sac may contain only a few eggs or a few hundred, which depends on the spider specie. In general, the eggs of spiders take several weeks before they hatch. There are spiders found in temperature climates that overwinter in the sac before emerging in spring.

In most species, the mother spiders guard the sac from the predators until hatching. There are other species that keep the sac in a safe location and leave the eggs to fate.

Spiderlings

Spiderlings hatch from eggs. The baby spiders look like small adults. There are spiderlings left on their own without any help from the mother spiders. There are also spiderlings that climb on the back of their mother after hatching where they are feed. Spiderlings jump from the back of their mother once they are prepared for the world around them.

The spiderlings resemble miniature adult spiders with a body, head, and eight legs. They are often grey, brown, or black without distinctive markings or colors. Spiderlings don’t depend on their mothers and often start their own lives alone. Soon after hatching, spiderlings leave the rest of their siblings to search for their own home.

Adult

Once a spider becomes an adult, it is now ready to mate and start the cycle once again. A female spider generally lives longer than male spiders that usually die after the mating process. Spiders often live for just a year or two though it varies by species. 

On the average, spiders in the wild can live for up to 3 years. It is because of the different mating rituals. But, spiders in captivity may lack the chance to mate. This is probably why they can live for a longer time. Again, this will still depend on the specific spider specie in question. For instance, some tarantulas in captivity were able to survive for over 22 years.

Average house spiders may live for only one year. Humans are possibly the biggest threats to spiders. Curious dogs and cats can also abruptly end a spider’s life.

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