These are the spiders I am talking about. They look a bit like harvestmen, but the fact that they hang from a web tells them easily apart. Well, the spiders have lived with us for a few years, the occasional one being swallowed by the hoover. The other day I noticed one with a large prey wrapped in silk. When the spider discarded the remains I had a look and it seemed to contain a large spider, most likely a Tegenaria. Now is the time of the year when male Tegenaria move around the house - often falling into baths - and maybe it is now when they are more likely to fall prey of patient Pholcus. This is another spider capture I photographed:
Then a few days later I noticed that a Pholcus living in the outside toilet had a sac of eggs. I pulled the camera out to take some photos and, after looking at them realised that the female carries the eggs in her mouth, but they are not wrapped in a cocoon like other spiders but are visible, probably held together with a little silk. Apparently the females live for several years and can protect the eggs themselves - and possibly the spiderlings - also, because the females move to a different spot every few days, it makes sense to carry the egg sac with her.
Of course, this makes the process of spiderling hatching from their eggs visible - and relatively easy to photograph - too, and there is when I found this incredible set of photos of Pholcus spiders being born at bugguide.netAnother very informative website with good photos: