Some Male Spiders Tie Up Females Before Mating To Avoid Being Eaten

Most of us have heard of the black widow at least once: the famous female spider which, after mating, kills its partner. However, not everyone knows that some males, after a long courtship, tie up and bind females before mating. Tying up the female allows males to extend their mating time, thus increasing the likelihood of paternity.


image credit: Judy Gallagher/flickr

This practice is mainly practiced by the Pisaurina Mira it is a species of spider from the Pisauridae family. Female spiders are generally larger and more aggressive than their mates: after mating with males to fertilize their eggs, they see their mate as a food source. The male, by wrapping part of the female’s legs in silk, gets around the problem he paralyzes her temporarily and after mating, he can escape without risk of being devoured.


image credit: Judy Gallagher/flickr

Alissa Anderson and other researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln observed this mating ritual in the lab by pairing female spiders with males who were able to spin silk and males who were prevented from doing so. Both groups of males were often able to mate with females, but those that did not produce silk died soon after mating.

Is this extreme behavior or just survival?

source used: National Geographic

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