Invertebrates aren’t well-known for their extensive parenting skills; most employ a strategy that involves producing large numbers of offspring but providing little to no care. The expectation is that the fittest young will survive the odds without any additional investment of the adults. Wolf spiders, a family of spiders that actively hunts their prey instead of snaring food items in a web, deviate slightly from that loose rule.
Instead of using their spinnerets to spin webs, female wolf spiders use the structures to attach their egg sacs to their bodies. When the spiderlings are ready to hatch, the female makes a tear in the egg sac and dozens of young spiders emerge. They scramble onto the female’s back, layer upon layer, where they stay for at least a week. After that brief brooding period, spiderlings will move away from the female and begin hunting on their own.
Spider sightings – of the non-plastic variety – can be shared on free nature platforms like iNaturalist.