Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The best both of worlds – how to have sex and survive

21.09.2007
Researchers have discovered that even the gruesome and brutal lifestyle of the Evarcha culicivora, a blood gorging jumping spider indigenous to East Africa, can’t help but be tempted by that ‘big is beautiful’ mantra no matter what the costs.

A study recently published in Ethology found that despite the inherent risk of sexual cannibalism, virgin females were attracted to bigger males when losing their virginity before opting for the safer smaller male as a longer term mate choice.

It is quite common for male spiders to fall victim to female sexual partners once they have mated as the female is more often than not bigger than her mate. In the case of E. culicivora, the gender roles and the size ranges of both sexes are different from the norm and this is important in understanding the evolution of their mate choice behaviour. Large males are more cannibalistic towards smaller females than vice versa. Consequently, virgin females prefer larger males as mates, in spite of the increased risk of cannibalism, but once the females have mated they change tact and prefer smaller males. In contrast, males make the same choice regardless of whether they are virgins or not and prefer larger females as mates overall.

The research team based in New Zealand and Kenya used interesting techniques to ensure that their findings were based purely on size selection and not courtship behaviour. Dr Pollard explained ‘like all salticids, E. culicivora has exceptional eyesight that is unrivalled by other animals of a similar size. Because E. culicivora can see so well, we could test what size mates virgin and non virgin males and females preferred by showing them different sized, dead conspecifics arranged in life-like postures. These motionless mounts were coated with a plastic adhesive and allowed us to test for decisions based only on the size of the potential mate and not its behaviour. To check whether the decisions made with static models related to actual mating, we also repeated the experiment with the choice being live mates.’

... more about:
»Sex »choice »culicivora »mate »virgin

Despite being the smaller and in this case weaker sex, the female E. culicivora has employed some interesting tactics in mate selection. Whilst this study suggests she may only mate once with a larger male, unlike male E. culicivora which discriminates less stringently, the research would suggest that her motives for doing so still remain largely unknown. Moreover this study provides ‘the first experimental evidence of pronounced mutual mate choice in a salticid and also the first experimental evidence of a salticid making size-choice discriminations in the context of mating.’

Davina Quarterman | alfa
Further information:
http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1439-0310.2007.01394.x

Further reports about: Sex choice culicivora mate virgin

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery
20.01.2017 | GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH

nachricht Seeking structure with metagenome sequences
20.01.2017 | DOE/Joint Genome Institute

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>