That’s the question YouTube user Danny Ford asked when he posted the video online. “We got a bit of a surprise when I squashed it with a broom as hundreds of baby spiders came crawling out of the mother.”
The mother wolf spider was found in Hallett Cove, South Australia, and those babies didn’t crawl out of her, they climbed off of her.
“When the spiderlings hatch, they climb on the mother's abdomen and spend their first days there before dispersing,” arachnologist Norman I. Platnick told National Geographic. “So these spiderlings were on the mother, and did not crawl out of her.”
Wolf spiders are doting mothers that carry a nursery on their abdomen. And with so many little spiderlings clinging to her every move, it’s a good thing she has eight eyes—four on the top row, and two rows with two eyes each beneath that.
In the video below, a man crushes the mother spider with a broom and her babies scatter off in all directions.
You can see a close-up of a mother wolf spider in a natural setting below.