The vast majority of spiders do not die after having babies, although there are some spider species where the female sacrifices itself for the greater good to feed the babies and help them survive to adulthood.
Stegodyphus dumicola, which is a spider species that lives in South Africa, is particularly known for sacrificing itself after having babies. The female sometimes lets itself be eaten by the babies to provide food for the babies, which allows them to survive the days and weeks right after being born.
Otherwise, there are not many other spider species that follow the same behavior after laying babies. Some female spiders will eat the male after copulation, however, there are not many spiders that die after having babies.
Do Spiders Die After Having Babies?
No. The majority of spider species can have several egg sacs in their lifetime, and the number of egg sacs they produce does not change their life expectancy.
Many females might experience a few days of downtime after laying eggs, but complications because of this process are extremely rare. Sometimes, the female might be too old or frail to survive after the process, but again, this happens very rarely.
Spiders normally don’t die as a direct result of having babies. There are, however, some species that might make some sacrifices along the way.
For instance, some species might eat the males after mating, which is especially typical for black widow spiders and redback spiders. During mating, the female will consume the male, which will happen during or right after mating. In this process, the female will kill the male and eat it, which is meant to sustain the female for a long period after laying eggs.
However, this does not always happen after mating. Some male spiders play dead after mating to avoid being eaten, while other females might never indulge in this behavior at all. It’s likely that it won’t happen if there is an abundance of food around.
There are also some female spiders that sacrifice themselves to the babies to allow them to survive. As already mentioned, this is typical for the Stegodyphus dumicola, which is native to South Africa. This species will start to liquefy to start feeding the babies, which is a process that might take several days or weeks.
This kind of self-sacrifice after having babies is extremely rare and seldomly observed with similar species to the Stegodyphus dumicola. Also, not all females of this species will show this behavior.
Which Spiders Die After Giving Birth?
The Stegodyphus dumicola is one of the most well-known spider species that die after having babies.
This spider species sacrifices itself to feed the babies right after they are born, or several days or even weeks after that happens. However, only a handful of these females will follow this ritual, while others might never have to do it.
During the process, the mother will start to produce special feeding nectar, which is created from the body of the female. In essence, the female will start to liquefy during the process, which is necessary for the female to create the feeding nectar that allows the offspring to survive.
This liquid will then be consumed by the babies of the spider. The babies will crawl onto the mother while sucking the liquid away from her until she is completely depleted. This sort of behavior is unique to this species and extremely rare with other species, especially in the world of spiders.
The female, in this case, sacrifices herself for the greater good. It will enable the babies to survive for long after she is gone, and her food might be enough for the babies to grow larger and stronger, giving them a better chance of survival in a world where there are many potential predators around.
What About Wolf Spiders?
No, wolf spiders do not die after having babies; some wolf spiders might die after having babies, but that is usually not related directly to the act of having babies.
Likely, it might happen if the wolf spider is old and not able to sustain itself after having babies. However, this process does not happen because of the process of having babies but rather, because of other factors. The most likely cause of death is old age.
The wolf spider treats its babies uniquely. After the babies are laid, the wolf spider will carry the babies on its back until they are fully grown or big enough to survive on their own. This process of carrying will continue for several weeks after the babies are laid.
Once the wolf spider babies feel like they’re strong enough to survive on their own, they’ll hop off the wolf spider’s back. After that, the babies are on their own, so they will have to get food to survive.
The majority of wolf baby spiders do not survive this period, unfortunately. It is estimated that only 1 in 100 spiders will survive on their own after leaving their mother’s back.
MORE ABOUT WOLF SPIDERS:
Why Do They Die After Giving Birth?
The two most common reasons are because of sacrifice, or because of old age or being preyed on by other animals.
Natural death after having babies is very rare. It will only happen if the female is too old and not able to take care of herself after having babies, but that is also quite rare.
Another potential reason why it might die is if it gets poached by its predators. And right after mating, the female is very vulnerable to predator attacks. After having babies, the female will spend several days and weeks keeping a close eye on her babies. Sometimes, it might get attacked by predators, which might result in its death.
Spiders normally don’t die after having babies. It’s quite rare to see this happen, although some spider species will sacrifice themselves to help the baby spiders survive for longer. It’s otherwise unusual to see a spider die after having babies.