- Jun 29, 2015
[font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]If the spiders manage to make it to a female with sperm intact, there’s still the chance that she’ll devour him before they get the chance to mate. Males who don’t follow proper foreplay protocol—about 1.5 hours of abdomen jiggling and light caresses—will also be eaten.[/font]
[font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]If he manages to successfully approach the female, the male will insert one of his pedipalps into the female, release his sperm and then—die. [/font]
[font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]While the male’s heart is technically still beating—which it will continue to do for up to two hours—he lies immobile and helpless. This give the female ample opportunity to liquidize her mate, squirting out digestive enzymes onto the male for easier eating. This creates a “sloshy milkshake, and that’s what gets sucked in,”[/font]
During copulation, the male spider can also lose parts of his genitalia. When the bulb carrying a male spider’s sperm expands, it often gets broken off inside the female. This creates a plug that prevents the female from mating again, and ensures that the male’s sperm will fertilize as many eggs as possible.