The Itsy Bitsy Spiders Crawled ... All Over the Place in Multitudes
October 22, 2020 3:47 PM   Subscribe

When spiders' egg sacs hatch naturally without human interference, do they do so all at once, or one at a time?

We see videos on social media where egg sacs rupture and hundreds of spiders all run amok. Is that the way it happens naturally, without any interference? Or do infant spiders usually come out one or two at a time?
posted by metabaroque to Science & Nature (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Maybe a bit of both? A few weeks ago I stopped standing under a tree because I notices that there were scores of tiny little spiders rappelling down to the ground and I just didn't want them landing all over me and taking them back inside. But for a few days, if you looked, you'd see itsy bitsy spiders making their way to the ground.
posted by zengargoyle at 4:07 PM on October 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

Anecdotally, I got to see a batch hatch out from the top of a lantern in my kitchen once. They apparently hatched out together - they all slid down one after another on strands of silk, like teeny spider commandos.
posted by LadyOscar at 4:08 PM on October 22, 2020 [5 favorites]

Ever pop popcorn in a pan on the stove? It's like that, but over a day or so instead of over a few minutes. For many species. Spiders contain multitudes of life histories etc etc.
posted by SaltySalticid at 5:28 PM on October 22, 2020 [3 favorites]

I would think that from a survival point of view it makes more sense for all of them to emerge more or less together, so that even if there are predators hanging about to pick them off, some will survive.
posted by Fuchsoid at 7:13 PM on October 22, 2020 [2 favorites]

Yeah, it's pretty much what they do, and Fuchsoid has it. A predator can only eat so many in a sitting. They disperse as fast as they can, often by "ballooning" - letting out a wee bit of silk and floating away on the wind.
posted by Jilder at 8:16 PM on October 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

In my experience they hatch all at once... hundreds of them... on my bedroom ceiling... right at bedtime...
posted by rebeccabeagle at 7:54 AM on October 23, 2020 [2 favorites]

It's just like the end of Charlotte's Web, except that they don't speak.
posted by ovvl at 5:42 PM on October 24, 2020

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