Spiders: The Truth About Mating Habits
For Southern California residents hitting the hiking trails, be prepared to see more male tarantulas up until November. Why the sudden increase? Yep, tarantula mating season is here, which means males will be out and about in search of dormant females.
This pattern of male spiders looking for a female companion is not just reserved for tarantulas. Many male spiders display this same behavior. But what is surprising, especially when it comes to black widows and redbacks, is some won’t survive the mating process. So, why do males make the long, dangerous journey only to potentially die when they do find a female spider? Read on to discover why!
If you’re experiencing a spider problem in your home, contact Preferred Pest Control OC for quick-and-easy extermination.
Orange County Black Widow Males Meet their Fate
California homeowners probably have run across one or two black widows around the house. In fact, according to the Orange County Register, California is one of the only few spots left that has black widow spiders, as brown widows, its more invasive cousin, are surpassing them.
Even so, black widows leave a lasting impression: one, its black body and red spots; and two, its venomous bite—although, according to Live Science, black widow bites usually aren’t fatal. One other characteristic that’s just as impressive but may fall under the radar? Some female black widows eat their mate during or after mating.
What’s even more surprising is that some black widow male spiders actually somersault into the female’s mouths, one final act to their 1-to-2-month lives.
Why Some Female Spiders Snack on Their Mates?
What’s with the somersault? According to National Geographic, black widow males who do this suicidal stunt prolong the mating process, making reproduction more successful. As for the females, Scientific American reports that gobbling up their mates could be the spider version of saying next; it also could just come down to a hungry stomach and/or aggressive instinct.
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