Dear Jude & Gabe
I will be in NZ for ten days so in the meantime, I have posted some photos below of our female pet marble orb weaver spider. I have been taking the photos over a few weeks so you don’t miss out on any of the developments. You will probably remember that the female only lives for one year? About six months have passed since we have been watching her grow in her spider web in the rosemary bush in our front garden. Her abdomen was quite fat and we thought it was because she was catching all those honey bees that came to the rosemary bush to collect pollen. It was partly that, but also because we now know she was carrying many baby spider eggs. This week she laid all those eggs, and she has probably eaten their daddy by now, who was very tiny compared to her! We think nature lets him be eaten so that their babies will be well fed and healthy by the time they are laid.
Mummy spider began preparing to lay her eggs by spinning a snow white lacy web in the middle of her big web that she traps the bees in, as shown in the photo. This went on for a week and then one morning, there hanging up behind her big web, was a little leaf packed with what looks like a piece of mud. I suspect the eggs are snug in their little white cocoon under the mud.
See more about this incredible orb weaver