Q:

What are the stages in the life cycle of a spider?

A:

Quick Answer

The spider's life cycle begins when the male and female spider mate, and the female spider creates a silken sac containing her eggs. When the eggs hatch, the spiderlings go through a molting process as they grow to adult size. Once they reach maturity, the spiders mate.

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Full Answer

There are 35,000 spider species known worldwide, and there are many variations in the specific details of the life cycle among them. When comparing one species to another, there are often big differences, including the type of silk they spin, the mating process, the number of eggs, how they care for their young, and the age of maturity.

All male spiders reproduce by releasing their sperm into a small web and then securing it in their pedipalps, appendages located at the front of their body. They hold it there until they can deposit it into the female. Some spiders have developed elaborate mating dances in an effort to accomplish this feat without the female eating the male in the process. Females then store the sperm internally, using it to fertilize the eggs. When they are born, all baby spiders, called spiderlings, look like miniature versions of the adult of their species, though they may be lighter in color at first.

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