Navigation Links
The best both of worlds -- how to have sex and survive

Researchers have discovered that even the gruesome and brutal lifestyle of the Evarcha culicivora, a blood gorging jumping spider indigenous to East Africa, cant help but be tempted by that big is beautiful mantra no matter what the costs. A study recently published in Ethology found that despite the inherent risk of sexual cannibalism, virgin females were attracted to bigger males when losing their virginity before opting for the safer smaller male as a longer term mate choice.

It is quite common for male spiders to fall victim to female sexual partners once they have mated as the female is more often than not bigger than her mate. In the case of E. culicivora, the gender roles and the size ranges of both sexes are different from the norm and this is important in understanding the evolution of their mate choice behaviour. Large males are more cannibalistic towards smaller females than vice versa. Consequently, virgin females prefer larger males as mates, in spite of the increased risk of cannibalism, but once the females have mated they change tact and prefer smaller males. In contrast, males make the same choice regardless of whether they are virgins or not and prefer larger females as mates overall.

The research team based in New Zealand and Kenya used interesting techniques to ensure that their findings were based purely on size selection and not courtship behaviour. Dr Pollard explained like all salticids, E. culicivora has exceptional eyesight that is unrivalled by other animals of a similar size. Because E. culicivora can see so well, we could test what size mates virgin and non virgin males and females preferred by showing them different sized, dead conspecifics arranged in life-like postures. These motionless mounts were coated with a plastic adhesive and allowed us to test for decisions based only on the size of the potential mate and not its behaviour. To check whether the decisions made with static models related to actual mating, we also repeated the experiment with the choice being live mates.

Despite being the smaller and in this case weaker sex, the female E. culicivora has employed some interesting tactics in mate selection. Whilst this study suggests she may only mate once with a larger male, unlike male E. culicivora which discriminates less stringently, the research would suggest that her motives for doing so still remain largely unknown. Moreover this study provides the first experimental evidence of pronounced mutual mate choice in a salticid and also the first experimental evidence of a salticid making size-choice discriminations in the context of mating.


Contact: Davina Quarterman
Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Related biology news :

1. Nano machine switches between biological and silicon worlds
2. Best of both worlds -- Targeting a single gene could inhibit bone decay and stimulate bone growth
3. Harmful Bacterium Commonly Found in Poultry May Survive Refrigeration and Frozen Storage Combined
4. Scientists reveal how disease bacterium survives inside immune system cell
5. Discoveries by UAB and Florida scientists may help transplanted organs survive longer
6. Bacteria can survive for weeks on hospital surfaces
7. Bacteria that cause tooth decay able to survive without important biochemical pathway
8. Tiny polyps gorge themselves to survive coral bleaching
9. Anthrax spores may survive water treatment
10. Heart has enough oxygen to survive hypothermia, CPR crucial
11. Life and death in the hippocampus: what young neurons need to survive
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/30/2015)... , Nov. 30, 2015  BIOCLAIM announced ... finalist in this year,s Fierce Innovation Awards:  Healthcare Edition, ... FierceHealthIT , FierceHealthcare , ... as a finalist in the category of "Privacy ... --> --> ...
(Date:11/19/2015)...  Based on its in-depth analysis of the biometric ... the 2015 Global Frost & Sullivan Award for Product ... this award to the company that has developed the ... the market it serves. The award recognizes the extent ... customer base demands, the overall impact it has in ...
(Date:11/18/2015)... ALBANY, New York , November 18, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... Transparency Market Research has published a new market report ... Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast, 2015 - 2021. According to ... bn in 2014 and is anticipated to reach US$29.1 ... 2015 to 2021. North America ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Matthew “Tex” VerMilyea, PhD, HCLD, has joined ... will oversee all IVF lab procedures as well as continue his research efforts into ... 7,305 miles to Auckland, New Zealand to bring home a High Complexity Clinical Laboratory ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... , ... Global Stem Cells Group Chile CEO ... America and abroad for the first Iberoamerican Convention on Aesthetic Medicine, Cosmetology and ... will present and discuss new trends in anti-aging stem cell treatments, regenerative medicine ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Global Stem Cells Group today ... Santiago Marriott. The Global Stem Cells Group GMP facility is equipped with the ... medical researchers and practitioners, experienced in administering stem cell protocols using highly manipulated ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , Dec. 1, 2015  An interventional radiology technique shows ... the preliminary results of a study being presented today at ... North America (RSNA). --> ... for decades by interventional radiologists as a way to stop ... procedure as a means of treating obesity is new. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: