Some male spiders tie up females before sex so they don't get eaten alive

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/11/20/some-male-spiders-tie-up-females-before-sex-so-they-dont-get-eaten-alive.html

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Before we get started, let’s just remind ourselves: no kink-shaming. :wink:

(Though the

some male widow spiders "can use their fangs to create openings in the [immature] females’ outer shells and access their genitals.

bit seems beyond the pale. Do spiders have an age of consent?)

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I tried to think of a “50 Shades of Gray” spoof title, but my brain’s not working yet. All I could come up with was that the new BDSM stands for (something something) Spider Man.
I am curious about the bit where they say females aren’t as good at catching their prey after they’ve been bound and drugged. I wonder if it’s just until the drug wears off, or if it’s permanent.
Also:

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Oh what a tangled web we weave
When first we practice to avoid getting eaten alive after sex.

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If we were spiders, ‘basic instinct’ would just be a romantic story about a perfectly normal couple.

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“Alive”? I’m sure that it varies by species, but don’t most spiders kill their prey and liquify their innards prior to consuming them?

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Maybe she’s just a bad spider who needed to be tied up?

And also: Usually you have to pay extra for that.

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Oh, another one of these threads.

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That’s what the female spider said.

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They have little spidery safe words.

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She is Me

Pun was totally intentional.

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There’s also nicely wrapped presents. Wrap it too easily or loosely, the female can open it and devour you. My gift wrapping skills would not enable me to survive, were I one of those guys.

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Bad Daddy Spider Man

(sorry clutch)

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Lol. I knew there should be a “daddy” in there, but kept getting sidetracked by daddy longlegs.

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I question your judgement when you’re reading an article about murder and you’re worried about the age of consent…

In seriousness, it’s a fascinating look into reproductive strategies. A game theoretical look into why these behaviours might have landed in this particular balance would be interesting.

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When this was first discovered (by W. S. Bristowe in the 1930s), the male’s silk was described as the ‘bridal veil’.

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The passage about…

In that same article, Yong also explains how some male widow spiders “can use their fangs to create openings in the [immature] females’ outer shells and access their genitals.”

…was disconnected from the murder element.

If anyone started to refer to animal predation as “murder”, most of us would roll our eyes and move on. But make it be about a sexual behavior, and suddenly anthropomorphizing it is really interesting.

Meh.

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I hope all those “scientists” who claim that the goal of evolution is ultimately to propagate one’s DNA finally realize that some of us care more about the current generation than future ones.