What is the life cycle of a zebra spider?


Quick Answer

A zebra spider goes through embryonic, larval, nymph and adult stages. A zebra spider begins in a fertilized egg sac, usually hidden underneath a rock. Upon hatching, the larva is too small to have any identifiable features. The nymph stage is the juvenile, or non-adult growing phase, and a zebra spider reaches adulthood within a year after undergoing five to 11 molts as a juvenile.

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Full Answer

A female zebra spider lays 15 to 25 eggs in one sac, and the mother stands guard over the sac as much as possible. Once spiders hatch, three to four weeks after the mother lays the egg sac, the mother continues to guard them until their second molt. After the second molt, zebra spiders go off on their own.

Molting occurs between each of the growing cycles of a zebra spider. Most molting happens as the juvenile spider grows into an adult. Once a spider stops growing, the molting stops completely.

A male of the species performs elaborate mating rituals that involve a zigzag dance pattern with the front legs and abdomen. If the female accepts the offer, she crouches down and the male proceeds to inseminate her. Zebra spiders breed in the spring and early summer.

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