How do male black widow spiders avoid being eaten after sex?

Are you interested in insects and animals life? Today we’ve got some interesting facts about spiders. How do they prevent being a victim after sex? Read the article and you will be surprised!


Many male spiders before mating present their females cobweb-covered carcasses of insects. Such rituals reduce the chances of becoming a victim of cannibalism, as well as increase the time of mating and the probability of obtaining offspring.

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Researchers from Aarhus University in Denmark have found evidence that the male spiders offer their partners edible gifts, to be protected from cannibalism.

In the laboratory, scientists have observed the behavior of the 280 pairs of spiders. Females were divided into two groups: nourished and hungry, and then they were settled with males. Some males were given the opportunity to prepare a gift, and some were immediately hoisted to the females. Females that did not eat their partners have settled with males again, and so up to eight times.

Scientists had discovered that females ate males that appeared without a gift in 19% of cases, in contrast to the 3.6% of cases, when the victim was male with a tribute: only one spider, who offered a gift, was eaten after mating. Satiety of females did not matter: the hungry females rarely ate partner with a gift, than a well-fed ate a partner, who brought nothing.

The researchers also noted that "generous" males mated with females longer: in this case, the male left the female more sperm, increasing the likelihood that he will leave offspring. It is known that female spiders mate many times, store seed some time and fertilize eggs when they are ready.


The males of many species of spiders offer the female a gift before mating, but still the reason was not clear. Some of them give non-edible plant seeds, a cotton ball or dry flower. However, males with worthless gifts mate less than those who brought something edible (and even less those who did not bring a gift at all).

From a human point of view, many of the creatures behave strangely, trying to continue their race. Mammals and birds show aggression to a sex partner, and males of fish anglers become appendages of females.

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