Do spiders have sex
Spiders are bizarre sex freaks. And you thought humans had crazy sex lives? Mounting evidence in recent years shows just how crazy spider sex is. Crazy courtship For example, in the case of redback spiders Latrodectus hasselti , courtship tends to last an average of 50 minutes when males are competing head-to-head for mating rights and 4. It seems as if the larger male redbacks would always be favored, but scientists recently discovered that the smaller ones actually get more action than their bigger counterparts because they mature faster and are quicker on their feet. Meanwhile, mature jumping spiders sport crucial glowing patches on their bodies to lure in mates, as if dressed for a rave.
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Arachnophobes beware: if the sight of spiders with their many moving legs raises your blood pressure and makes you queasy or if the feel of spider webs gives you the heebie jeebies, you might really hate spider sex. If any aspect of the arachnid life displays just how diverse, strange and downright scary these animals are, it is definitely spider mating. During spider mating, the male spider deposits sperm into a sperm web then draws that sperm into his pedipalps. He uses his pedipalps to insert the sperm into both the female spider's genital openings, or epigynum. The female stores the sperm inside her body and chooses which sperm she prefers to use to fertilize her eggs, before laying up to a thousand fertile eggs into a silk egg sac.
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Sexual selection in spiders shows how sexual selection explains the evolution of phenotypic traits in spiders. Pre-copulatory mate choice processes have been observed in a wide range of spider species , including Stegodyphus lineatus , Argiope aurantia , Schizocosa floridana, Hygrolycosa rubrofasciata, and Schizocosa stridulans. Sexual selection occurs after copulation as well as before copulation.
Males and females of some spider species differ hugely in size. The most extreme examples of such sexual size dimorphism are among the orb weaver spiders. For the tiny male golden orb weaver Nephila pilipes , approaching the female is fraught with peril: She can be 10 times his length and times heavier. Some spiders pair puny males with gigantic females, making mating both tricky and dangerous. Why and how such mismatches evolved remains curiously enigmatic.