The lump on the right in the photo above is my "pet" kitchen spider. If spiders ick you out, think of her as a science experiment. She and I co-exist amicably. I don't tear down her web or harass her, and she, in return, catches bugs and sucks out their juices, and then tosses the empty husks onto the counter beside the sink (much like a vampire!) In the words of Mr. Spock from Star Trek, I find her "fascinating."
I have no idea what kind of spider she is. I can tell what she isn't: she's not a black widow and I'm reasonably sure she's not a brown recluse since they're more, uh, reclusive. Her body is about the size of my pinkie nail. No interesting colors or distinguishing marks.
A few months ago, what I presumed was a male spider of her species showed up at her bachelorette web. They co-habitated for several days and then one morning, I noticed his lifeless husk of a body on the counter with the rest of Ms. Spider's dinner remains. They must've done the dirty, though, before she sucked the life out of him: she's been producing egg sacs like an automated assembly line. I had no idea spiders were so PROLIFIC!
Right now she has two egg sacs incubating at the top of her web. Last week there were four. Each time a sac reaches maturity, I'll see what looks like a mass of dirt specks in the web beside a broken-open sac. Since I don't have a magnifying glass to get a closer look, I'm thinking the specks are actually itty-bitty Ms. Spiders.
Where do they go after they hatch? I really don't know. It's not like we have hundreds of spiders taking over my kitchen. Does Ms. Spider eat her young? I don't know that, either. They seem too small to have enough life blood for her to drink.
What I do know is she is a baby-making machine. And if these egg sacs are the result of only one mating session, then all I can say is, "Cowabunga, man!"
Female spiders are the ultimate feminists: they need their males for only two things: copulation and dinner--literally. Once they've had their way with their mates, they kill 'em and drink 'em dry. And in the spider world, it's not only legal, but natural and expected. Just goes to show there are more things in this world than are dreamt of in our philosophies.
Check out the gallery below for more fuzzy pix of Ms. Spider and her egg sacs!