For Jumping Spiders, Choosing the Wrong Mate Turns Deadly
Male jumping spiders are not what you’d call picky. In fact, the tiny arachnids try to court every female they see—even when she's a different species.
But boldness has its costs. Female jumping spiders are larger than the males, and voracious predators to boot. This means that every time an eight-eyed Romeo tries to woo a mate, he risks becoming Juliet's lunch.
Which is why it's more than a little odd that males would risk everything to court a female of a different species. (The males don't actually end up mating with these foreign females.)
The confusion isn't entirely the males' fault, says Lisa Taylor, an arachnologist at the University of Florida and leader of a new study about misdirected courtship in