Saturday, April 7, 2012

Rain Spider Babies

Great excitement in the garden on Thursday evening. 
My daughter spotted this rain spider nest about 10 days ago and has been keeping a watchful eye on it ever since.

Thursday evening just before 7p.m. she went to have a look, an ear-piercing squeal told us something was happening.

Yes! The spiderlings were emerging from their nest.

Hundreds of the little things climbing out and heading off into the safety of the thick ivy.

The nest is against our boundary wall with quite dense shrubbery in front of it.
Getting these photo graphs meant climbing through this heavy plant growth and getting quite close, all the while wondering where Mommy spider is. Female rain spiders can be quite aggressive when they have babies to protect.

All these photo's were taken by my son, which finally gave Mom the opportunity to get her own back. He has always been the practical joker in the family and has been the cause of more than one heart stopping moment. It was getting dark when the last few photo's were taken and I was standing behind him holding a torch. Then I saw my chance – I tapped him lightly on the shoulder and yelled. The reaction was perfect! He jumped back almost dropping the camera, ready to run but almost fell over me who by then was rolling on the ground with laughter.

Rain spiders lay between 50 and 300 eggs. I don't know how many babies came out of this nest but it was a lot. There were at least 30 visible on the nest at any time, with a continual mass exodus lasting almost half an hour.


  1. I have one who dashes out indignantly every time I water the aspidistra. The right one, left isn't good enough for our rain spider. Once I opened the sliding door and had a rain spider walk very gently over my forehead. By the time I realised and wanted to scream, the spider was long gone.

  2. What a fabulous moment to capture on camera. Most spider nests I see here are much smaller, but we don't have a lot of large spiders here, except for the occasional small tarantula. I love the second photograph, with the spiders all 'decorating' the outside of the nest sac, it's beautiful.

  3. Oh, my gosh! Look at all those spiders!!! Looks creepy to me! :)

  4. I have a sort of "love-hate" relationship with these spiders. I love the fact that they are in the garden forming part of the natural ecosystem, but they give me the creeps when they come inside and get too close, like in my bedroom at night or in the shower when I am there too! I have to admit I was secretly relieved that most of the babies seemed to heading over the wall to my neighbours, but then I started worrying that they may not be as tolerant as I am and may kill them.

  5. I dont mind spiders, one at a time. The thought of an entire cluster of them together, that gives me the shivers.

  6. Looks like a scene out of a horrer film.

  7. Eeeeeeeeeekkkkk......... [sound of me shrieking and running off into the distance....]

    We have rainspider nests in our garden too, quite often, and when we catch them before the spiderlings emerge, hubby (my dear heroic hubby) evicts the nest with some braai-tongs, taking it faaaaaar away down the street to a traffic island with trees.

    I sooo do not like these things inside the house. If they really insist on living in our garden, I can juuust about tolerate that, but definitely not inside the house or even worse, inside the bedroom. Shudder...

    YOU, let me tell you, are a brave family!

  8. Just found a spider next in our garden, thought it was a rain spider as the spider sitting outside it looks like one but ours is made more of leaves and less web.

  9. i love them..have a few nests scattered around the garden and one under the postbox at the moment..hope the postman is,nt arachnaphobic !!