The Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change

is a research museum of the Leibniz Association

Egg parasitism in pholcid spiders



Quick facts

Project title: 
Egg parasitism in pholcid spiders
ZFMK Project lead: 


Pholcid spider females carry their egg-sacs with their mouthparts until the spiderlings hatch and it is probably for this reason that the eggs are not densely covered by a protective layer of silk as in most other spider families. It seems that few egg parasites have managed to access these protected eggs of Pholcidae. Only one case has previously been published in Pholcidae (Huber & Wunderlich 2006).

During recent trips in SE Asia and Brazil[1], several new cases of egg-parasitism in Pholcidae were discovered, and in some cases the female spiders were kept alive until the wasps emerged. Several different spider genera are affected, and it seems that at least four different wasp species are involved.


[1] Projects funded by the German Research Foundation, DFG (Project Number: HU 980/11-1) and by the Brazilian Government (CAPES/CNPq).


Contact person

Head of Arachnida Section and Curator
+49 228 9122-294
+49 228 9122-212
b.huber [at]