|Home||The male generally moults into maturity just before the female and may then seek out a mate by sensing her pheromones, which may be airborne or on draglines of her silk. Before he can mate, he has to transfer spermatozoa, produced within the abdomen by the testes, to the reservoir in his palpal organs, since it is these structures which are actually used for insemination. The female, often freshly moulted into adulthood, can then be inseminated; in this state, her cuticle, spines and chelicerae are relatively soft, and she presents a slightly less formidable challenge. In approaching the female, the correct, prescribed ritual must be observed; blundering in simply will not do and could prove fatal. All of the various senses are employed in the courtship ritual. Having followed the correct ritual and adopted the correct position for mating, the male's palp is then coupled with the female's epigyne.
In order to assure their paternity, the males of some species then seal the epigyne. In other cases, the female may be capable of multiple matings, with previous inseminations being partly displaced. After mating, the male and female of some species remain together; others part, sometimes never to meet again. Sometimes repeated matings occur between the same individuals. It is rare for a fit male to be eaten by the female, but the female of Argiope wraps her diminutive mate in silk and may start eating him during mating.
|Created By: ERL|