The Spider Life Cycle

The Spider Life Cycle
The spider life cycle progresses through three stages: the embryonic, the larval, and the nympho-imaginal.

The time between when an egg is fertilized and when the spider begins to take the shape of an adult spider is referred to as the embryonic stage. As the spider enters the larval stage, it begins to look more and more like an adult spider. It enters the larval stage as a prelarva and, through subsequent moults, reaches its larval form, a spider-shaped animal feeding off its yolk supply. After a few more moults (also called instars) body structures become differentiated. Soon, all organ systems are complete and the animal begins to hunt on its own; it has reached the nympho-imaginal stage.[2].

This stage is differentiated into two sub-stages: the nymph, or juvenile stage and the imago, or adult stage. A spider does not become sexually mature until it makes the transition from nymph to imago.[2] Once a spider has reached the imago stage, it will remain there until its death. After sexual maturity is reached, the general rule is that they stop moulting, but the females of some non-araneomorph species will continue to moult the rest of their lives.

A number of spiders may only live for about a year, but a number will live two years or more, overwintering in sheltered areas. The annual influx of 'outdoor' spiders into houses in the fall is due to this search for a warm place to spend the winter. It is common for tarantulas to live around twenty years.

Posted by: Kelly    Source