Reproductive Biology

Often lives close to mate; commonly living next door to each other. Mating can take up to several hours to complete. During process, male sperm is transferred to female by way of special cavity at beginning of uterus. Resulting spermatozoa remain in cavity until used to fertilize eggs. Time of fertilization depends largely on availability of food sources in area. Female will wrap eggs in clear sac that she keeps in her mouth (between chelicerae) for safety. Up to three sacs may be produced, each containing 13-60 eggs. Female will guard eggs until prenymphs hatch from eggs after several weeks. After about nine days, prenymphs shed old skins and tiny spiders appear; they soon leave maternal net to look for new place to build their own net. They will continue to shed their skin as they grow, with five molts needed to reach maturity. Lives for about two years.


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