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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Sacking of the Sac

The mother lynx spider disappeared one day soon after she produced her egg sac--the First of the Year!--and I wondered what would become of the eggs as days and now weeks have gone by without her standing guard. The other day I took another look, and noticed ants crawling over and around the sac, and in and out of a small hole in the sac wall.

But, I noticed these ants were acting weird (that is, for ants). You know how when ant scouts find a food source, they take some and carry it back to the nest, and a whole bunch of ants form a caravan to carry the rest of the booty home as quickly as possible? These ants weren't carrying anything out of the nest; were the eggs too large to carry? Ants would go in and come out, slowly, almost furtively, then wander away. I could see ants inside the sac (sort of--it's a mighty small hole) but couldn't tell what they were doing in there. As eggs represent an excellent source of protein, I assume the ants will be or are eating them.

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