Navigation Links
Male dwarf spiders make sure offspring is their own
Date:6/10/2014

Chastity belts were not first thought out in mediaeval times members of many animal groups have evolved similar mechanical safeguards to ensure their paternity. Male dwarf spiders, for instance, use mating plugs to block off the genital tract of the female they have just mated with. The larger and older the plug, the better the chances are that other males will not make deposits in a female's sperm storage organ, too. So says Katrin Kunz and co-authors of the Zoological Institute and Museum in Greifswald, Germany, in an article published in Springer's journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology about this European spider.

This study builds on previous research led by co-author Gabriele Uhl that showed that dwarf spider males (Oedothorax retusus) insert mating plugs into the two copulatory ducts of the females they have mated with.

Kunz and her colleagues took these findings one step further to study just how well the mating plugs of the dwarf spider work. They discovered that the material the plugs are made of is transferred in a liquid state from the male to the female and that it needs to harden to a certain degree before it can withstand penetration or removal by a rival male. Remating trials were then staged after females received plugs of different sizes during a first round of copulation. Their effectiveness over periods of time was also tested. The female spiders were then scrutinized under a scanning electron microscope.

Overall, small plugs were found to be less effective than large plugs. This suggests that smaller portions of the translucent plug material can be more easily removed or overcome by a subsequent male that wants to mate. Small plugs are also least effective shortly after they are placed, which suggests that both size and the hardening of the material plays an important role in how well the plug works. Once plugs are older than a day they strongly serve to monopolize access to the duct that leads to the female sperm storage organ.

However, even if subsequent males are able to mate, at least part of their sperm mass remains outside of the female genital tract, confirming the efficacy of the mating plug. Consequently, if a male succeeds in plugging both of the female's copulatory openings, his paternity success is expected to be very high.

"The mating plug in the dwarf spider clearly functions as a mechanical obstacle to rival males," says Kunz. "Mating plugs are a powerful mechanical safeguard whose efficacy varies with plug size and age."


'/>"/>

Contact: Joan Robinson
joan.robinson@springer.com
49-622-148-78130
Springer
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Protein involved in DNA replication, centrosome regulation linked to dwarfism, small brain size
2. Scientists from Mainz and Antananarivo describe Lavasoa Dwarf Lemur as new primate species
3. New dwarfism mutation identified in dogs
4. Scientists reconstruct ancient impact that dwarfs dinosaur-extinction blast
5. Genetic legacy of rare dwarf trees is widespread
6. Flying jewels spell death for baby spiders
7. Crabs, insects and spiders vulnerable to oil spill, but also resilient
8. Velvet spiders emerge from underground in new cybertaxonomic monograph
9. Vampire jumping spiders identify victims by their antennae
10. Are brown widows displacing black widow spiders around southern California homes?
11. Aussie wasp on the hunt for redback spiders
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Male dwarf spiders make sure offspring is their own
(Date:11/17/2016)... , Nov. 17, 2016  AIC announces that it has just released a ... organizations that require high-performance scale-out plus high speed data transfer storage solutions. ... ... ... Setting up a high performance ...
(Date:11/14/2016)...  xG Technology, Inc. ("xG" or the "Company") (Nasdaq: ... for use in challenging operating environments, announced its results ... will hold a conference call to discuss these results ... (details below). Key Recent Accomplishments ... agreement to acquire Vislink Communication Systems. The purchase is ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... , June 22, 2016   ... management and verification solutions, has partnered with ... software solutions for Visitor Management, Self-Service Kiosks ... provides products that add functional enhancements to ... provides corporations and venues with an automated ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 01, 2016 , ... The Conference Forum has announced that the ... will take place on February 1-3, 2017 at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York ... program provides a unique 360-degree approach, which addresses the most up-to-date information regarding business ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... and biotechnology companies dedicated to collaboratively developing improved chemistry, manufacturing and control ... vendor-supported, portable online UHPLC, with robust, probe-based sampling. , Online liquid ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... 2, 2016 The immunohistochemistry (IHC) market ... a CAGR of 7.3% during the forecast period of 2016 to ... laboratories segment accounted for the largest share of immunohistochemistry (IHC) market, ... , ... immunohistochemistry (IHC) market spread across 225 pages, profiling 10 companies and ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... today announced the appointment of Joshua F. Coleman , ... Dr. Coleman will oversee clinical content development and curation of ... software suite empowers molecular pathologists with a seamless workflow for ... from quality control through reporting. ... , , ...
Breaking Biology Technology: