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Reversal of the black widow myth
Date:5/6/2013

neration tended to be bigger than males from the spring generation and they were more cannibalistic. This would suggest that male aggression may be related to male size.

The authors noted that the highest frequency of reverse cannibalism occurred when these larger, young males from the summer generation met old females from the previous spring generation. This suggests they may have based their choice on female age. Female body size, even though considered to be a sign of quality, did not affect rates of cannibalism. The authors also noted no difference in male cannibalization of females who had previously mated or virgin females. This evidence demonstrates that in some species and some cases, the males make a very clear choice about who they will mate with.

The authors remark: "Our study provides an insight into an unusual mating system, which differs significantly from the general model. Even males may choose their potential partners and apparently, in some cases, they can present their choice as extremely as females do by cannibalizing unpreferred mates."


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Contact: Sophia Grein
sophia.grein@springer.com
49-622-148-78414
Springer
Source:Eurekalert

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