Journal of Ethology

, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 29–39 | Cite as

Sexual coercion does not exclude luring behavior in the climbing camel-spider Oltacola chacoensis (Arachnida, Solifugae, Ammotrechidae)

  • Alfredo V. PerettiEmail author
  • Rodrigo H. Willemart


Sexual coercion in the form of forced copulation has been used as a typical example to illustrate the conflict of interests between females and males. Among arthropods, forced copulation has been reported for some groups of insects and crustaceans, but not for arachnids. In the present work, we analyse and describe the behavioral patterns of mating behavior of the climbing camel-spider, Oltacola chacoensis, relating it to relevant morphological features, In this species, the male forcefully clasps the female’s genital region with his chelicerae and locks her fourth pair of legs with his pedipalps. In some cases, the cuticle of the female’s abdomen was damaged by this cheliceral clasping. In contrast to other camel-spiders, the female O. chacoensis never remained motionless during mating, but continuously shook her body, opening her chelicerae notably towards the male. Despite this coercive context, males performed copulatory courtship (tapping with pedipalps) and females showed an apparent cooperative behavior (they remained still during a short period of the sperm transfer phase). These results strengthen the idea that sexual coercion (in the form of forced copulation) and luring behavior (in the form of copulatory courtship) are not two mutually-exclusive male’s strategies during a single copulation.


Sexual coercion Forced copulation Sexual dimorphism Clasping structures Copulatory courtship Arachnids Camel-spiders 



We thank G.R. Smith, P. Carrera and A. Klann for useful comments on previous versions of the manuscript. We are also indebted to C. Mattoni and P. Carrera for help in collecting trips. AVP thank Emilio Maury for his help and advice for the study of the biology of camel-spiders. Financial support was provided by the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas of Argentina and the Secretaría de Ciencia y Técnica of the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba to AVP.


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Copyright information

© Japan Ethological Society and Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CONICET - Cátedra de Diversidad Animal I, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y NaturalesUniversidad Nacional de CórdobaCórdobaArgentina
  2. 2.Departamento de Zoologia, Instituto de BiociênciasUniversidade de São PauloSão PauloBrazil

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