Thursday, 14 June 2012

Male Spider Ditches Penis, Gains Fighting Power

After leaving its detachable penis to finish inseminating the female, the male orb-web spider fights to the death to protect the impregnated gal. Without the extra weight of its sexual organs, this spider can outlast its competition, new research has found.

Though the spider loses its palp (the arachnid equivalent of a penis, and the male orb-web spider has two), it usually wins the fight to protect his mate from other males.

"Prior work has demonstrated that eunuch spiders are superior fighters, we here pinpoint a mechanism that enables eunuch's greater endurance," the researchers write in their paper, published June 13 in the journal Biology Letters. "Our present results imply that palp weight poses significant physical costs to males."

No comments:

Post a Comment

You only need to enter your comment once! Comments will appear once they have been moderated. This is so as to stop the would-be comedian who has been spamming the comments here with inane and often offensive remarks. You know who you are!

Related Posts with Thumbnails