While doing a photo walk on a utility road behind Miner’s Cove at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma, I came across a fascinating sight – a female Green Lynx Spider working on her egg sac!
As some of you may know from my previous post on the Green Lynx Spider [The Captivating Green Lynx Spider], this spider gets its name from the bright green color and faint white stripes on its body that resemble a lynx cat. The female I spotted this time was busy attaching her egg sac to a blade of grass.
Green Lynx Spider egg sacs are spherical and about the size of a marble. The female spider carefully creates the sac from silk and attaches it firmly to a branch or twig (blade of grass). She then lays up to 200 eggs inside the sac and guards it fiercely until the spiderlings hatch.
I was thrilled to capture some great shots of the concentrated mother spider adding finishing silken touches to the egg sac. Over the next few weeks, I hope to revisit this location and document the hatching of the spiderlings! It’s always an incredible experience to observe the fascinating reproductive behavior and maternal instincts of spiders in the wild.
Let me know in the comments if you’ve seen any interesting spider egg sacs in your own photography explorations! I’m curious to hear what other species create similar structures.
Steve Creek, Wildlife Photographer
- The female Green Lynx Spider constructs her egg sac at night, taking around 30 minutes to complete it. She uses a specialized organ called a spinneret to spin the silk.
- The silk of the egg sac is highly durable yet flexible. It can stretch to double its size as the eggs inside grow, while still protecting them from predators.
- The color of the egg sac can range from off-white to pale yellow or green. The variations depend on what the female spider has eaten and what silk is available.
- If the eggs inside the sac are disturbed or threatened before hatching, the mother spider may hastily construct a new sac and move the eggs inside.
- The egg sac is firmly anchored to its support, with a wide attachment area. The mother spider secures it with many attachment threads for stability.
- The silk of the egg sac allows good air circulation while preventing parasites and water loss. This helps ensure optimal conditions for the eggs to develop.
- After hatching, the spiderlings may stay inside the sac for several days before dispersing. This gives their exoskeletons time to properly harden.
- If the mother spider dies before the eggs hatch, the egg sac will usually still yield viable spiderlings. The durability of the sac protects them.
Image Information: First Image
- Date: 9/18/23
- Time: 9:36 AM
- Camera: Canon EOS R5
- Lens: Canon RF 100-500 mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM
- ISO: 1250
- Aperture: 10
- Shutter: 1/2000
- Exp. Comp.: 0
- Program: Manual