There’s Another Spider That Destroys Female Genitalia

The discovery suggests that maiming females is a widespread strategy for male arachnids, scientists say.

Spiders have some pretty strange mating habits, from sexual cannibalism to self-sacrifice.

Now, a new study suggests we can add another oddity to the list—destroying female genitalia.

Some male Cyclosa argenteoalba, a type of orb-web spider, maim their mates’ private parts after sex in what may be an attempt to prevent other males from copulating with her.

The study, published recently in Biology Letters, builds on a 2015 research that revealed the same behavior in a different kind of orb-weaving spider, Larinia jeskovi. (See “This Spider Destroys Female Genitalia to Prevent Future Mating.”)

However, the orb-weaving spider’s genital destruction seems to be a newly discovered technique, says Kensuke Nakata, a zoologist at Kyoto Women’s University who conducted the

DON'T MISS THE REST OF THIS STORY!
Create a free account to continue and get unlimited access to hundreds of Nat Geo articles, plus newsletters.

Create your free account to continue reading

No credit card required. Unlimited access to free content.
Or get a Premium Subscription to access the best of Nat Geo - just $19
SUBSCRIBE

Read This Next

SeaWorld violated the Animal Welfare Act. Why is it still open?
'World’s worst shipwreck' was bloodier than we thought
World’s first ultrasounds of wild manta rays reveal a troubling truth

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet