Tarantulas’ personality determines whether they copulate with males or cannibalize them

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Sexual cannibalism is a way of arachnids choosing a partner

Tarantulas’ personality determines whether they copulate with males or cannibalize them

Sexual cannibalism in spiders – the attack and consumption of males by females before or after copulation – is very widespread. A new investigation analyses the reason behind such extreme behaviour, at times even before the females have ensured the sperm’s fertilisation of their eggs.
More info about:tarantulacanibalismaracnidessex.

SINC | April 21 2014 10:00

An image of a Mediterranean tarantula, Lycosa hispanica / Eva de Mas

After copulating with a male, female spiders tend to practice sexual cannibalism, that is to say, they attack the males and eat them. Researchers from the Experimental Station of Arid Zones (EEZA-CSIC) have studied why, at times, this behaviour arises before copulation, often without having ensured the sperm’s fertilisation of their eggs.

“This tendency towards cannibalism could depend on the aggressive genetics of…

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