Journal of Insect Behavior

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 131–148

Female Mating History Influences Copulation Behavior but Not Sperm Release in the Orb-Weaving Spider Tetragnatha versicolor (Araneae, Tetragnathidae)



We examined the influence of female mating history on copulation behavior and sperm release in the haplogyne spider Tetragnatha versicolor. Despite significant behavioral differences during mating, males released equivalent amounts of sperm to virgin and non-virgin females. When mating with non-virgin females, males showed twice as many pedipalp insertions and half the copulation duration as compared to virgin females; however, males were as likely to mate with non-virgin as virgin females. Even with these overt behavioral differences, males released half of the sperm contained within their pedipalps during mating, regardless of female mating history. With respect to male mating order, first or second, we suggest the numbers of sperm released would lead to an expectation of unbiased paternity. In this species, sperm release is not directly proportional to total copulationduration.

sperm competition sexual selection arthropod arachnid 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anne M. Danielson-François
    • 1
    • 3
  • Todd C. Bukowski
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of ArizonaTucson
  2. 2.Center for Insect ScienceUniversity of ArizonaTucson
  3. 3.Rice University MS-170Houston

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