Previous Current Next
Mr & Mrs Wasp Spider
Comments(5) # Mr & Mrs Wasp Spider london e17

Getting an even half-decent shot of both male and female Wasp Spiders together on the same web has proved difficult. I assume this is because the males don't like to get too close to their mate until they're sure this is going to be the one. As you can see this male has already lost half a leg, very possibly from a previous meeting that didn't go quite to plan and is approaching the female on the opposite side of the web. Readers of a more delicate dispositon are warned not to read any further as what I will explain next might be viewed as somewhat unpleasant. Indeed if one doesn't find it even slightly distasteful then perhaps one has slightly more arachnid blood or genes than the rest of us.... There are many speices of spider where the male is eaten after copulation, I'm sure you've all heard of that one before. This is indeed often the case with wasp spider matings. But here's a new one for you (this is where you might want to look elsewhere). After mating the male often leaves part of his sexual organs behind inside the female. This gives him no advantage in his escape attempt and presumably means he can't mate again but it does make it far more likely that no other spider will fertilise the eggs of the female he's just mated with. Isn't evolution wonderful? For those doubting it, here's a reference to a scientific journal, and here in a slightly more jazzed up style. There's at least one more photo to come in the Wasp Spider saga.....but probably not an action shot of the mating (unless I come across it of course, which is pretty unlikely as it only lasts 25 seconds on average). Canon EOS 5D
150 mm
400 ISO
1/200 sec
f 8
Flash: Fired