A Tribute to All Mothers – Happy Mothers Day!

13 May 2012
Mothers take care of their young – but it is usually far more than that.

Many mothers go the extra mile to ensure that their young do well in life. Arthropods (bugs!) are no exception. In fact, they make no less sacrifices than mammals in caring for their young. Some go for weeks without food while guarding their egg sacs, while some even sacrifice themselves to be food for the little ones.

This post is a tribute to all mothers, and to remind everyone of the sacrifices mothers make, especially your own.

Lynx Spider (Oxyopidae) - i02719#1 Lynx spider tending to her spiderling

Wolf Spider (Lycosidae) - DSC_3473#2 A wolf spider carries her brood of freshly hatched spiderlings, and carry them around on her abdomen until they are able to hunt on their own. This happens despite the mother having already lost 2 legs.

Wolf Spider (Lycosidae) - DSC_3654#3 Another Wolf Spider, with spiderlings still slowly crawling out of the egg sac and clinging onto her abdomen

Scorpion (Lychas scutilus?) - DSC_8980#4 The scorpion carries her young on her back as well, and is still able to hunt while carrying the extra load. A ground spider has fallen prey in this picture.

Huntsman Spider (Sparassidae) - DSC_4657#5 A Brown Huntsman carries a huge egg sac under her body until the spiderlings are hatched. The little ones can be seen crawling out after the egg sac burst open.

Wide-Jawed Viciria (Viciria praemandibularis) - DSC_8398#6 Wide Jawed Viciria with her spiderlings running amok in the nest. Despite what may seem like imminent danger, the mother did not run away and abandon the babies. Even if she did move, she would return to protect her young ones almost immediately.

Wide-Jawed Viciria spiderlings (Viciria praemandibularis) - DSC_8498#7 A close up of the cute little ones from above

Crab Spider (Thomisidae) - DSC_5970b#8 Bird dung crab spider waits patiently upon her egg sac

Spitting Spider (Scytodidae) - DSC_0176#9 A spitting spider clasps her egg sac with her mandibles. How does she eat while doing that? You guess. 🙂

Wide Jawed Viciria (Viciria praemandibularis) - DSC_7732#10 Another wide jaw viciria tending to her eggs – the spiderlings were almost hatched, with their legs already sticking out of the eggs

Comb-Footed Spider (Ariamnes flagellum) - DSC_7248#11 Whip Spider guarding her egg sac

Dragonfly (Anisoptera) - DSC_7668#12 A dragonfly continuously flicking droplets of water to the ground. This is sometimes done while laying eggs, to ensure that the eggs do not get eaten up by egg-eating fish

Cellar Spider (Pholcidae) - DSC_6554#13 A Daddy Long Leg mummy (I know.. it sounds weird) clutches onto her newborns

Crab Spider (Thomisidae) - DSC_6066#14 These crab spiders don’t seem to fear death when it comes to guarding their young. Some might eat up their eggs or young when they sense danger, but I’ve never seen that before.

Crown Wasp (Stephanidae?) - ESC00004#15 A wasp (Stephanidae) laying eggs into the tree trunk. During this process, they are vulnerable and defenseless against predators.

Just a simple series, with a simple message – Happy Mother’s Day! 🙂



Hi my name is Nicky Bay. I am a macro photographer, instructor and book author, travelling the world to document the vast micro biodiversity that nature has to offer. Follow my updates and discover with me the incredible beauty and science behind our planet's micro creatures!

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