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Ladybird Spiders
by Devin

Introduction: The Lady Bird Spider used to have the name of Eresus niger but nowadays it is called Eresus cinnaberinus. It is a member of the Erisidae family. This spider is very rare and is protected in some countries. The name "Lady Bird" comes from the appearance of the adult male seen in this picture. He only gets this colouring at his last change of skin.

Breeding: The Lady Bird Spider makes a single tube of silk on the ground and lays her eggs in a cocoon. In the day time, she brings out the cocoon to let it get warm and returns it to the tube at night.

When the spiders hatch, they stay in the tube all through the Winter. During this time, they can change their skin up to six times. In the Spring, the young spiders eat their mother after she dies.

Conclusion: The male spiders become adult in the Autumn or in the Spring and then start wandering about looking for mates. The female can stay in the tube for up to four years.

The females are not as brightly coloured as the males.
 

Pictures by Allessandro Cagnolati from Rome
Information: http://www.xs4all.nl/~ednieuw/Spiders/Erisidae/Erisidae.htm

Information and pictures were taken from children's projects and where credited to that child does not claim to be original information. Where possible, permission to reproduce has been sought. Any infringement of copyright is purely unintentional.

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