, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 159-165

Male emergence timing and mating success in the funnel-web spider,Agelena limbata (Araneae: Agelenidae)

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Abstract

Field observations on the relationship between male mating success and emergence timing in the funnel-web spider,Agelena limbata, were conducted.Agelena limbata is an annual species and adult males appear slightly earlier than adult females in July. As males deposit a copulatory plug at the female epigynum after copulation, copulation with virgin females is important to males. The number of copulations in males with virgin females, which strongly correlates with the longevity of males and the number of females that males courted, did not correlate with the emergence timing of males. Early emerged males and females were significantly larger in size than later ones, but the correlation coefficient between the emerged date and the cephalothorax width was not strong. Males that emerged earlier did not have any advantage in copulating with larger and more fecund females. Furthermore, virgin females first copulated on average 7.9 days after their final molt and the mortality rate of adult males increased after the final molt. These factors may favor the smaller degree of protandry in male emergence timing inA. limbata.