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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Garden Spider w/ Multiple Egg Sacks


We have an extremely large garden spider that has set up housekeeping in a passion flower vine on our deck.  Last night she made her FOURTH egg sack.  They are hanging roughly in line with each other, in 2 sets of 2.  Everything that I read says that the spiders die after producing their (implying one and only) egg sack.  I usually have at least one big one every fall and have never had more than one egg sack.  Do we have a super spider?  I confess, we have been feeding her leaf footed bugs that plague our vegetable garden so she is quite a healthy specimen.  We are located in Covington, Louisiana.  Just north of Lake Pontchartrain.  Thank!

Good morning Holly!

In the Charlotte's Web model, spiders would truly die after producing one egg sac.  However, your observation is more to the norm.  I have these spiders at my house and the average number of egg sacs per spiders is around two.  I've seen three and four sacs as well.  It depends on food supply and the health of the female.

The female will die as fall and winter approach, but her egg sacs will survive to release their offspring next year.

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Nathan Riggs


I currently live in San Antonio, TX and have expertise in identifying insects, many types of spiders, and other arthropod critters that infest lawns, ornamentals, structures, trees, pets and livestock. Mites are not a strong point of mine. I'm not a licensed doctor, so I cannot provide medical diagnosis of conditions possibly related to insects or other arthropods. If you've got an interesting photo for me to see, attach it to your question, or let me know and I'll give you my email so the picture will get to me. If you have hosted an insect photo on a website, please include the link so I can go look at it and provide a faster ID for you. You may also join my group page on Facebook and post your picture at


22+ years' experience as an entomologist: 5 years as a biologist with Merck Animal Health (I was part of the R&D team that worked to develop FrontLine flea and tick products) and 7 years as an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Specialist in San Antonio, Texas with Texas Cooperative Extension.

Veterinary Parasitology, Southwestern Entomologist, San Antonio Express News, San Antonio Gardener Newsletter, Master Gardener SCION Newsletter, GardenStyleSA e-Newsletter

BS - Entomology from Texas A&M University in 1992.

Board Certified Entomologist, 1996-2000 - Medical and Veterinary Entomology Specialty (Entomological Society of America)

Awards and Honors
2000 Texas A&M University Vice Chancellor's Award in Excellence for leadership on the Texas Fire Ant Program Educational Team.

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