Got a cellar spider with an egg sack in my bathroom

Here she is. Finally got a decent picture of her and her eggs.
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/66658066

Have been watching her for a few weeks now (got a direct view of her from the toilet, so that’s pretty much a given).
I know spiders, especially cellar spiders, don’t need food often, but I’m still frequently wondering if and what I could feed her. Want her and her offspring to be strong and healthy. All of her limbs are intact, so she hasn’t resorted to self-cannibalism yet, which is at least a good sign.
Got some dried mealworms for garden songbirds, which I could rehydrate for her, but I’m not sure if she’ll take non-moving food. Same goes for mammalian/avian/fish meat I got around, and I don’t even know if that’s good for spiders. Taratulas eat vertebrates, sure, but is it any good for other types of spiders?
The live feeder animals in pet stores all seem a bit to big. The smallest crickets and mealworms have a lot more mass than her. Don’t want her to get injured or otherwise disturbed.

Anyone got any suggestions? There is also the question of how to feed her. She’s pretty close to the ceiling and I’m not sure how I can safely offer food without disturbing her.

And here’s two more questions: How long do spiderlings usually need to hatch? And does anyone have name suggestions for her? She has been my flatmate for so long now, she needs a name.


BIG UPDADE!
Babies! https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/66840066

3 Likes

She looks like a good mum :relaxed:
Food? Fruit flies? A smaller spider?

1 Like

She does indeed.
Flies and spiders (other than cellar spiders) are currently hard to come by. It’s winter, partially frosty weather, so there aren’t a lot of inverts up and about.

1 Like

I had my resident Pholcidae mama too!
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/45835819

Though I think she’s now dead. When i open the windows lots of small flies and midges come in so thats probably how they kept eating.

3 Likes

if you flip some logs or pots or such you may be able to find some earwigs or something but I don’t know if cellar spiders eat those. A lot of spiders die after laying eggs, right? or is that just Charlotte’s Web?

3 Likes

Many arachnids not only survive after laying eggs, but also stick around to raise their young. This can be especailly seen arachnids that wander around, such as wolf spiders and scorpions, who will carry their young on their backs.

Looking under things might be an idea, as there are a usually a lot of isopodes to be found. Maybe she’ll like those.

2 Likes

pholcids seem to hang with their sac at least until the entire bunch have hatched into live spiderlings. then they carry that around in a squirming ball in the front of them for a bit, within their busy web structures. Not sure how long they interact but I don’t believe individuals in this genus die after laying eggs and are super fun to watch. I have a few p. manueli obs with live young and mom.

4 Likes

I’m sure you may find better options (and I am by no means urging this product), but you can buy fruit flies. When I worked at a small nature center, we had boxes of them to feed some of the little critters.

2 Likes

That seems to be a bit much for one small spider. Especially since they don’t need that often, so I would likely not be able to feed all the flies to her before they die, and that’d be a waste.

1 Like

Indeed, it was not really meant a suggestion. In my yard, I’ve seen cellar spiders eating beetles and bees and soldier fly larva (from my old compost bin). the locals don’t seem too picky. :)

1 Like

Pick up a banana to keep in your bathroom. Hope for fruit flies? Although you might get more than you wished for, in which case a jar of vinegar + a drop of dish soap elsewhere in the home should prevent their proliferation.

3 Likes

Reminds me of the time I had a pet black widow. You might be surprised that there are still insects around in winter – especially indoors.

1 Like