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.
Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.