Thursday, December 27, 2012

Baby Arthropods

It's winter, it's gloomy, and so who doesn't want to think about baby spiders overwintering in a silken sack with their mom? The Giant Crab Spider has produced a wonderful egg case. You can see it up against the front right corner of the cage. Unfortunately for us viewers, Mom is inside there with the babies. She guards them all through their development and will stay with them until they hatch.

The baby Millipedes featured earlier are growing rapidly. Take a look. Their first few sheds will be the most dramatic, but they will continue to grow for several years, until hopefully we have some giants to display.

Our Madagascar Hissing Cockroach colony is thriving, and it just welcomed new additions. Mad Hissers are ovoviviparous, meaning they incubate and hatch their eggs inside the body and then "give birth" to live young. The babies begin life white, but gain pigment in the first few hours outside their mom.

Meanwhile, two other species have produced eggs but so far haven't hatched babies. The Domino Cockroaches produced a fine egg case. And several Blue Death-feigning Beetles laid eggs on the sand in their exhibit but then vanished into burrows where we believe they may be producing more eggs.

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