Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Male Australian Redback Spiders Employ Courtship Strategies To Preserve Their Life

Date:
October 26, 2009
Source:
University of Toronto
Summary:
New research shows that male suitors of a female cannibalistic spider risk facing a premature death unless they perform an adequate courtship lasting a minimum of 100 minutes. Further, the research shows that "sneaker" males can slip by and mate successfully on the courtship efforts of the hard-working first suitor.

Australian Redback Spider. New research shows that male suitors of a female cannibalistic spider risk facing a premature death unless they perform an adequate courtship lasting a minimum of 100 minutes. Further, the research shows that "sneaker" males can slip by and mate successfully on the courtship efforts of the hard-working first suitor.
Credit: iStockphoto/Maria Veleva

New research shows that male suitors of a female cannibalistic spider risk facing a premature death unless they perform an adequate courtship lasting a minimum of 100 minutes. Further, the research shows that "sneaker" males can slip by and mate successfully on the courtship efforts of the hard-working first suitor.

Scientists at the University of Toronto Scarborough have published their research in the journal, Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The study provides new findings on the mating habits of the poisonous Australian redback spider (Lactrodectus hasselti), a member of the black widow family where females are larger in size compared to males.

According to the research, if a male tries to mate without investing sufficient time and energy in courtship, the female spider will kill him and mate with his rival. However, weaker males, or those looking to expend little energy, have found a way to reap the rewards of the more committed suitor.

"The second 'sneaker' male slips by and mates successfully, essentially acting as a parasite on the effort of the first, hard-working male," explains Maydianne Andrade, associate professor and Canada Research Chair of the Integrative Behaviour and Neuroscience group at the University of Toronto Scarborough.

"One of the surprising outcomes from the study is that females are unable or unwilling to discriminate the sources of courtship," said Jeffrey Stoltz, PhD candidate in the department of biological sciences at U of T Scarborough and co-author of the study. "This has provided the opportunity for intruding males to exploit the reproductive efforts of rivals and thereby circumvent female choice."

Adds Andrade, "Female choice using thresholds have been predicted in theory, but this is one of a few quantitative demonstrations of such a decision rule in action and the first to show that males can use the female's decision rule to exploit the reproductive efforts of rivals."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Toronto. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Female's courtship threshold allows intruding males to mate with reduced effort. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, (in press)

Cite This Page:

University of Toronto. "Male Australian Redback Spiders Employ Courtship Strategies To Preserve Their Life." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091022114311.htm>.
University of Toronto. (2009, October 26). Male Australian Redback Spiders Employ Courtship Strategies To Preserve Their Life. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091022114311.htm
University of Toronto. "Male Australian Redback Spiders Employ Courtship Strategies To Preserve Their Life." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091022114311.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Cadaver Dogs Aid Search for More Victims of Suspected Indiana Serial Killer

Cadaver Dogs Aid Search for More Victims of Suspected Indiana Serial Killer

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) Police in Gary, Indiana are using cadaver dogs to search for more victims after a suspected serial killer confessed to killing at least seven women. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Unveiled to the Public

White Lion Cubs Unveiled to the Public

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) Visitors to Belgrade zoo meet a pair of three-week-old lion cubs for the first time. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Where's a body buried? Buster's nose can often tell you. He's a cadaver dog, specially trained to find human remains and increasingly being used by law enforcement and accepted in courts. These dogs are helping solve even decades-old mysteries. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) Two white lion cubs, an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion, were recently born at Belgrade Zoo. They are being bottle fed by zoo keepers after they were rejected by their mother after birth. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins