Sometimes familiarity does not breed contempt: A Cornell University behavioral scientist has found that female wolf spiders prefer mates that are comfortably familiar.
A female wolf spider kills and cannibalizes a male
Photo by Eileen Hebets
Copyright © Cornell University
However, the researcher has discovered, a male wolf spider unlucky enough to attempt to mate with an unfamiliar female probably is doomed to be killed and eaten by the female.
"Finding this behavior is really surprising. Social experience influences mate choice," says Eileen Hebets, a Cornell postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, whose findings will be published in the online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS early edition, Oct. 27-31, 2003).
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