In the popular mind, mating of spiders is as far from sexual paradox as one could imagine, a naked lunch for the femme fatale, in which the often much smaller, male becomes a delicacy even in the throes of fertilization. However this is true only for some well-known species, such as the Black Widow. Neither is it clear this is a one-sided love affair. The Australian redback male literally dances in front of the female's jaws to entice her into biting him, giving him longer to fertilize her more completely Andrade R The sexual stakes in spiders are made higher, both by the female's predatory nature and the fact that some species mate only once or at most a few times and the females can store sperm for up to two years, making a single sexual feat by the male the progential act of a lifetime. Despite the apparent imbalances, spider courtship poses intriguing and diverse examples of sexually-antagonistic coevolution, with all manner of subtleties and variations. It is never easy to tell which sex the given act serves to greater degree.
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Very Strange: The Spider Sex Chronicles | Live Science
The male spider's primary objective in life is to impregnate one or more female spiders before other males can. As it turns out, this is no easy task in most species. The first obstacle is actually finding a female spider. Most spider species are completely solitary animals, meaning they live and feed on their own, and they are generally spread out over a wide area, making an available female relatively scarce. The male spider has the daunting task of tracking down a sexually mature, receptive female in the area before other males can get there. In most species, the female makes it easier on the males by "advertising" herself with pheromones , communicative chemicals.
The Nihilistic Sex Lives of Spiders
But their preferred choice of bigger, better-fed females could be increasing the chances of future generations of males being eaten like their fathers. In many species, the males tend to sleep around to maximise their chances of having children as they have almost abundant sperm. Females often only have a limited amount of eggs and so are usually a bit pickier about who they have sex with. They set out to test their theory by putting colonial orb-weaving spiders, Cyrtophora citricola, in a room together and waiting to see what happened. A paper in the Plos One journal about their findings, called Coy Males and Seductive Females in the Sexually Cannibalistic Colonial Spider , described a typical sexual encounter between two spiders.
Click the button below for videos of black widow spider reproduction. The Black Widow Spider Resource. Reproduction and Development of the Black Widow Spider Click the button below for videos of black widow spider reproduction. Reproduction in black widow spiders is very interesting and unique. They have a pair of ovaries and an abdominal passage that delivers eggs to the exterior of the spider.