US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — The mating season in the world of spiders often ends in tragedy for one of the partners. Females of the genus Black widows kill males, and in the family of orbiting spiders, the last word belongs to the males. After mating, they deprive the girlfriend of this opportunity for the future.
Orbiting spiders (Araneidae) – a large family of 3,000 species, united in 170 genera. German scientists from the University of Greifswald studied spiders of the species Larinia jeskovi, widely distributed in the territory from Siberia to Eastern Europe. The results of the study are published in the journal Current Biology .
According to the data obtained, males of Larinia jeskovi after mating mutilate the female genitalia, excluding her participation in mating games in the future. Previously, other researchers described spiders eating a partner after mating (this model of behavior is characteristic not only of black widows, but also of the genus Micaria ).
There are species of spiders that simply guard the female, not letting other males to her; there are spiders that plug the female’s reproductive organ with a kind of cork that will not allow an act to be made with another partner. Larinia jeskovi – the first species known to science, which tends to inflict irreversible injuries on female individuals.
Examining the mating process of Larinia jeskovi in laboratory conditions, the scientists found that the male with his pedipalps (the second pair of limbs), as if by scissors, cuts off the female scapus – a special chitinous eminence that grows from front to back and covers the so-called “genital shield” (epigin).
This happens in a matter of seconds simultaneously with sexual intercourse. A female deprived of scapus loses its attractiveness: it simply ceases to be perceived by other males as a representative of the opposite sex.
Thus, males of Larinia jeskovi, not wanting to subsequently take care of other people’s cubs, continue only their genus. According to scientists, a similar mechanism to protect your family can be found in some other orbiting.
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