Desert spiders make the ultimate sacrifice
Many mothers are devoted to the care of their offspring, but the female desert spider really gives her all. As her eggs develop, her abdominal tissue begins to break down, so by the time the spiderlings hatch she’s got a supply of nutritious liquid in her gut ready to regurgitate for their first slushy meal.
After two weeks, regurgitated meals cease to satisfy the young spiders. They attack their mother, pierce her abdomen and suck out everything left inside. This sacrifice seems extreme, but it allows the female to give her offspring the best possible start to life in a challenging and arid habitat.
“The young spiders pierce her abdomen and suck out everything inside”
The consumption of a mother by her young is known as matriphagy, and it has been recorded in some scorpion species and other arachnids