Name: Black-Footed Yellow Sac Spider (Cheiracanthium inclusum)
Scientific Classification and Taxonomy:
Distribution: C. inclusum are native to the New World (North, Central, and South America; and West Indies). This species has also been introduced to Africa and Réunion. They are most often found in trees and shrubs, but may also find shelter in houses and other human-made structures.
Life Cycle: Females of C. inclusum mate only once, and produce their first egg mass about 14 days after mating. Two sets of eggs are usually produced, but this can range anywhere from 1 to 5. Egg masses generally contain 17 to 85 eggs, although as many as 112 eggs have been reported in a single egg mass. Egg laying generally occurs during the months of June and July; during this period, females lay their eggs in small (2 cm) silk tubes and enclose themselves with the eggs, protecting them from predators. Females stay with the eggs and juvenile spiders for about 17 days – until their first complete molt. Females which produce additional egg masses construct a second egg sac about two weeks after the juvenile spiders disperse. Males tend to become sexually mature earlier (119 days on average) than females (134 days on average), but time to maturity can range from 65 to 273 days, depending on a number of factors, such as temperature, humidity and photoperiod. C. inclusum spiders normally over-winter as adults or sub-adults.
Behavior: Being nocturnal, C. inclusum feed and mate at night. C. inclusum do not make webs to catch prey; instead, they are active predators, feeding on a variety of arthropods such as insects and other spiders. Prey detection may involve detection of mechanical vibrations of the substrate, and vision seems to play an insignificant role. During the day, they retreat in small silk nests similar to those used for reproduction. A new nest, which may be completely closed, open on one side, or open on both sides, is built every day in under 10 minutes. C. inclusum are known to disperse easily between trees and shrubs. They do this by excreting a long silk thread that gets carried by the wind and sticks to a nearby structure, forming a scaffold between two structures. Alternatively, the spider may stay attached to the thread and balloon through the air. These spiders are infamous for their vertical traveling attached to a silk string, which they use in order to both catch airborne prey, and keep out of reach of other predators, such as larger spiders, centipedes or ants.
Venom: C. inclusum spiders are venomous and capable of biting humans. A bite begins with moderate pain (in contrast to a brown recluse spider's painless bite) followed by itching. Symptoms usually resolve within 7–10 days. However, the spider rarely bites (with females biting more often than wandering males), and the venom rarely produces more than local symptoms.
Dymadex's blogs on bugs, including insects and arachnids. Insects are hexapod invertebrates like ants, beetles, bees, and flies. Arachnids are joint-legged invertebrates like spiders, scorpions, ticks, and harvestmen. Other organisms in this blog include centipede, millipede, and worms.
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