Male spiders have safe(r) sex with siblings | Science News


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Male spiders have safe(r) sex with siblings

In a cannibalistic species, males don't linger long with their sisters

6:44pm, April 20, 2010

Inbreeding isn’t worth dying for, even in a spider species where males routinely pay for sex with their lives.

Sex is never safe for males of the species Argiope bruennichi, one of Europe’s common orb-web spiders. In lab tests conducted by behavioral ecologists at the Zoological Institute and Museum of the University of Hamburg, males ended up as their mates’ lunch in about three trysts out of four.

But when researchers matched up siblings the cannibalism rate fell to about half, mostly because

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