Male spiders that get to have sex only once or twice in their lives are far more interested in a female spider’s virginity than in her size, according to a new study. The finding surprised scientists, who noted that larger females tend to be more fertile.
Most male wasp spiders have only a single shot at love because their female partners eat them right after copulation. Even those (doubly) lucky guys that escape this sexual cannibalism, however, can mate only one more time before their skirt-chasing days are over.
That’s because during sex, the male will intentionally snap off one of his two genitalia inside his lady friend in an attempt to keep her from getting impregnated by future suitors.
This cringe-inducing strategy often pays off: Males that penetrate a female first have a threefold edge in ultimately becoming daddies.
Therefore, for wasp spiders, scoring a virgin female evolutionarily trumps having sex with a plumper partner that could produce more eggs and offspring.
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