Extreme Dates

We are all familiar with the nasty habits of female spiders and praying mantises eating their male friends after, or in some cases during, satisfying their lustful desires. However, it is always interesting to see someone bucking the trend, and when it comes to a whole species, it is even more compelling reading.

The Brazilian Wolf spider, Allocosa brasiliensis, who lurks in burrows in the sand prior to rushing out at night to grab an early breakfast, has settled on role reversal as a strategy for breeding success. Aisenberg et al from Clemente Estable Istitute, Montevideo.  In Uruguay have published a study (1) of 20 male Wolf spiders who were introduced to sprightly virgins and more experienced heavy bodied mated females.

The big boys ate 10% of the virgins on offer, but attacked 40% of the old gals and munched their way through 25% of the total on offer. The explanation is in the "extreme mate choice hypothesis" which the guys are going to go for the gals who will be most productive. The rest are lunch.

I guess guys will be guys and will be attracked to extreme sports. But these Wolf spiders seem to be determined to have their cake and eat it.

  1. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1095-8312.2011.01631.x/abstract

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