My Spidey Sense is tingling!

From the useless information department, I bring you, Spider Sex!

Ever wondered how our arachnid friends copulate? C'mon, I know you do!

Money quote:

"Going courting for a male takes a little preparation. Those palps (hollow feelers near the male spiders mouth) are nowhere near his reproductive tract, so what he has to do is spin a tiny scrap of web and ejaculate a bit of semen onto it; he then dips his palps into it and fills a hollow channel in them. That's right, the prelude to spider mating is for the male to charge his face up with sperm. This can actually take quite a while, a half hour to several hours, so it's an important part of the process.

Another important and dangerous step is flagging down a willing female. Spiders often have elaborate courtship rituals, with fancy dancing, wig-wagging palps, and fragrant pheromones, all working to convince the female, who is a ferocious predator, that the male is friendly and conspecific and wouldn't she like a little wink-wink-nudge-nudge instead of or before eating him? I can sympathize. I remember when I first asked my wife-to-be out on a date in high school, and I was as nervous as if there were a worry that she might sink her fangs into my skull, inject my cranium with digestive enzymes, and slurp my brains out like a tasty oatmeal milkshake. With spiders, they might really do that."

AR: I'll never be able to think about filling my palps and lunging for the epigyne in quite the same way after reading this article. Seriously though, here is an example of what amounts to natural reproduction through oral sex.

Where are the fundamentalists on this? Surely this is an outrage! Oh, wait, perhaps they were designed this way. Ha!

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