The Hobo Spider Life Cycle

The Hobo spider life cycle may be one year; it may be two; this is subject to argument among the experts.

When a Hobo spider reaches its full adult size in June the males and females spend the Summer preparing for egg laying and fertilization in the Fall. The eggs from a female will be deposited in one to four egg cases in late September or October. These egg cases are layers of silk intermingled with layers of soil and debris. They are usually attached to the undersides of rocks or other items found in yards or gardens. Each case may contain 100 or more eggs. Usually, they are not in human living quarters, although they may be in the crawl space under a house. By the time the eggs are secured, there are very few males around, indicating that they die soon after fertilizing the eggs. Who knows, they may be eaten by the females, like the black widow spiders, but this has never been observed.

The eggs hatch early the following June. Since colonies studied in the summer include full grown adults mixed with juveniles, it has been assumed that there is a two year life cycle. During the last half of a summer season many of the mature males will be exploring everywhere they can to mate. This is when most of the encounters with humans take place. At such times there may be large numbers of male hobo spiders entering houses, crawl spaces and basements. There they are seen and come close to people, who are surprised by such large spiders in large numbers.

The male hobo spider will present two protuberances that vaguely resemble boxing gloves. These are not fangs or poison sacs, they are the male genitalia. The female will not have these protuberances, they will have large abdomens where the eggs are being developed. The females seldom wander into human houses.

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