prof. Mgr. Stanislav Pekár, Ph.D.
prof. Mgr. Stano Pekár, Ph.D.
Female St Andrew’s Cross spiders control copulation duration by timing sexual cannibalism and may thereby control paternity if cannibalism affects sperm transfer. We have investigated the effect of copulation duration on sperm transfer and documented sperm storage patterns when we experimentally reduced the ability of females to attack and cannibalise the male. Virgin males and females were paired and randomly allocated either to a control treatment, where females were allowed to attack and cannibalise the male during copulation, or to an experimental treatment, where females were unable to cannibalise the male. The latter was achieved by placing a paintbrush against her chelicerae during copulation. Our experimental manipulation did not affect copulation duration or sperm storage.
Herberstein M. E., Schneider J. M., Harmer A. M. T., Gaskett A. C., Robinson K., Shaddick K., Soetkamp D., Wilson P. D., Pekár S. & Elgar M. A. (2011): Sperm storage and copulation duration in a sexually cannibalistic spider. J. Ethol. 29 (1): 9–15.