The Survival of the Male Black Widow Spider

In an fascinating new research study from the Arizona State University of black widow mating behaviors, it was found that male widow spiders, while temptated to mate with a partner they’d rather not, have evolved ways to avoid the deadly embrace. In this study, black widows were separated between groups of those well fed with crickets and those starved of any nutrition.  Not only did the males perform a dance to let the black widow know that they are mates and not food, but they also detected chemical differences in the silk of well fed and poorly fed black widow spiders.  The males then were able to favor those black widows for mating that had already consumed so many crickets that they had little desire to eat their mate.  But the black widows that were hungry, were so hungry that they might even eat their mate before having a chance to have sex and eventually reproduce.  While the male widow spider does some risk assessment, inevitably nature will force it to take a chance!

As with most humans, food comes before sex for the black widow spider.


Add Your Own Comment: