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Spider males good for mating, food

For female Mediterranean tarantulas, eating a male means having tougher and more baby spiders

7:29pm, October 21, 2008

One’s company and two’s — lunch.

In nature, female Mediterranean tarantulas rarely eat the first male they mate with, reports Jordi Moya-Lara±o of the Arid Zone Experimental Station in Almería, Spain. The suitor that shows up next, though, faces triple the risk of becoming a meal instead of a mate.

About a third of the females studied in their natural habitats ate at least one suitor, Moya-Lara±o and his colleagues report online October 22 in PLoS ONE. And dining instead of mating worked out well for the females.

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