How Older Widow Spiders Seduce Younger Males—And Eat Them
Aging females have evolved a trick to attract males more interested in younger mates, a new study found.
When it comes to wooing the ladies, male brown widow spiders don’t always make the best decisions.
On paper, younger females are the better option—they don’t demand a lengthy courtship and they’re more fertile than their older counterparts. They are also much less likely to eat their mates alive. (Read more about how male widows avoid becoming lunch.)
Yet when given a choice, male brown widow spiders opt for older females, according to new research published in Animal Behaviour.
“We thought that we would find some benefit that the males have in mating with older females,” says study co-author Shevy Waner, a graduate student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. “But so far we really don’t understand why that’s