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ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR, 2002, 63, 857870 doi:10.1006/anbe.2002.2003, available online at http://www.idealibrary.com on
 

Summary: ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR, 2002, 63, 857870
doi:10.1006/anbe.2002.2003, available online at http://www.idealibrary.com on
Value of male remating and functional sterility in redback spiders
MAYDIANNE C. B. ANDRADE & ERIN M. BANTA
Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, Cornell University
(Received 20 October 2001; initial acceptance 20 February 2001;
final acceptance 7 November 2001; MS. number: A8911R)
In the Australian redback spider, Latrodectus hasselti, males typically use their paired copulatory organs
(palps) to copulate twice with a single female then sacrifice themselves to their cannibalistic mates in a
strategy that increases their paternity in that one mating, but leads to death. This type of terminal
investment in one mating is predicted only if the expected value of future matings is low for males
relative to the value of repeated mating with the same female. In this laboratory study, we quantified the
reproductive value of mating more than once with the same female (repeated mating) and mating with
more than one female (multiple mating) for male redback spiders. We tested two natural selection
hypotheses for repeated mating, sperm limitation and reproductive insurance, but found no support for
either hypothesis. We show that, in the absence of sperm competition or cannibalism, male lifetime
reproductive output is the same whether a male copulates once, twice, or several times with a given
female. Repeated mating does not increase the probability of successful fertilization, nor does it increase
the number of offspring produced in successful matings. Although male repeated mating is not favoured
because of increased fertility of mates, other studies suggest it may be important in sperm competition.

  

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

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology; Biology and Medicine