In dark fishing spiders, males' postmating nap is permanent

Species prepares for two pairings but goes into a fatal coma after a single encounter

By Susan Milius, 18:12 PM June 18, 2013

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Once is apparently enough for male dark fishing spiders. After delivering only half of their available sperm to a single female, males curl up and wait for death.

In the considerable annals of spider sex ending badly, male Dolomedes tenebrosus suffer a fate not described before, says behavioral ecologist Steven K. Schwartz of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Males of this widespread North American species prepare sperm for two matings but spontaneously fall into a spidery vers...

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