Journal of Ethology

, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 43–50 | Cite as

Timing of female sexual unreceptivity and male adjustment of copulatory behaviour under competition risk in the wolf spider Schizocosa malitiosa

  • Anita Aisenberg
  • Natalia Estramil
  • Carlos Toscano-Gadea
  • Macarena González


Males can change their copulatory or sperm transfer patterns in response to sperm competition risk. Schizocosa malitiosa performs long copulations, which include two consecutive patterns (Patterns 1 and 2). Virgin females are very sexually receptive, but mated females diminish their receptiveness. Female unreceptivity has been attributed to the action of receptivity-inhibiting substances, mainly transferred during Pattern 1. We tested: (1) if females who mated only with Pattern 1 were immediately unreceptive; (2) male and female behaviours when the copulating couple was exposed to another male. For (1), we interrupted mating when Pattern 1 finished and immediately exposed the female to a second male. For (2), we introduced a second male when the couple was starting (Ei) or finishing copulation (Li). Females were unreceptive immediately after finishing Pattern 1. Males from Ei and Li dismounted and approached the second males. Ei males diminished the frequencies of insertion after perceiving the presence of a second male and dismounted less frequently when copulating with heavy females. The study provides insights about the timing of sexual unreceptivity in S. malitiosa under possibilities of sperm competition, discussing male adjustment of copulatory behaviour in the presence of rival males.


Schizocosa malitiosa Wolf spider Sexually unreceptive Receptivity-inhibiting substances Competition risk 

Supplementary material

10164_2007_81_MOESM1_ESM.rtf (35 kb)
Table S1. Cephalothorax length (cl), cephalothorax width (cw) and weight of individuals used in each experimental group. Data presented as Mean ± SD, with the corresponding range between brackets (RTF 34.8 kb)


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Copyright information

© Japan Ethological Society and Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anita Aisenberg
    • 1
  • Natalia Estramil
    • 1
  • Carlos Toscano-Gadea
    • 1
  • Macarena González
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratorio de Etología, Ecología y EvoluciónInstituto de Investigaciones Biológicas Clemente EstableMontevideoUruguay

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