Reproductive Biology

Females lay clusters of eggs in moist areas on the ground, often under rocks, in cracks in soil, or between soil and crowns or recumbent leaves of plants. Number of eggs laid from 10 to several hundred. Eggs are generally laid in fall where they over-winter, and then hatch following spring. (In Europe, they reproduce once each year, with eggs over-wintering. In parts of North America, two or more generations may occur, with eggs, immature young, and adults often over-wintering.) The eggs hatch in 3-20 weeks or more, depending primarily on temperature. Eggs are spherical, about 0.0158 in (0.4 mm) in diameter, with a smooth surface and color changing from off-white to dark gray-brown as they mature. After hatching, immature young are similar to adults, only smaller and with legs shorter relative to body size. Immature young undergo several molts (usually seven) and reach maturity in 2-3 months, again depending on temperature.


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