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ORIGINAL PAPER Females reward courtship by competing males

Females reward courtship by competing males
in a cannibalistic spider
J. A. Stoltz & D. O. Elias & M. C. B. Andrade
Received: 3 August 2006 /Revised: 18 July 2007 /Accepted: 31 August 2007 / Published online: 26 September 2007
# Springer-Verlag 2007
Abstract Despite widespread recognition that intersexual
interactions shape reproductive strategies, studies of male
competition do not typically include effects imposed by
females. In cannibalistic redback spiders, escalated fighting
between rival suitors is predicted, as males are unlikely to
mate with more than one female, and strong first-male sperm
precedence favours mating with virgins. In staged competi-
tions for matings between size mismatched rivals, smaller
males adopted an alternative sneaking strategy. However,
despite initial agonistic interactions, larger males did not
pursue or incapacitate smaller males. When inter-male com-
petition occurred, females struck at males frequently, although
strikes were rarely seen when males courted in the absence of
a rival. After minimal fighting, larger males engaged in


Source: Andrade, Maydianne C.B. - Department of Biological Sciences, University of Toronto at Scarborough
Sorenson, Michael - Department of Biology, Boston University


Collections: Biology and Medicine; Environmental Sciences and Ecology