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1 April 2012 Sexual receptivity varies according to female age in a Neotropical nuptial gift-giving spider
André L. Klein, Mariana C. Trillo, Maria J. Albo
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For many spiders, sex pheromones associated with female silk are important stimuli that elicit male searching and courtship behaviors. In that context, female sexual receptivity and chemical attractiveness can depend on age and reproductive status. In Paratrechalea ornata (Mello-Leitão 1943) (Araneae: Trechaleidae), males offer females a nuptial gift (a prey wrapped in silk) during courtship. Gift construction is elicited by the presence of female silk, and silk attractiveness is influenced by female age, increasing from 20 days after the female reaches adulthood. Our goal was to investigate whether female age affects female sexual receptivity and to discuss the relationship between receptivity and silk attractiveness. We exposed 26 virgin females, from 2 to 28 days after the final molt, to males offering a nuptial gift. Female sexual receptivity was age dependent and increased with adult female age. Females over 15 days from adulthood accepted more gifts than younger females, but the latency of female gift acceptance was not affected by female age. Female sexual receptivity is synchronized with chemical attractiveness, suggesting that females' pheromone release is adjusted at a particular mating age. We suggest that young virgin females may invest more in foraging and maturing gonads than in mating, accounting for the delay in receptivity and chemical attractiveness.

André L. Klein, Mariana C. Trillo, and Maria J. Albo "Sexual receptivity varies according to female age in a Neotropical nuptial gift-giving spider," The Journal of Arachnology 40(1), 138-140, (1 April 2012).
Received: 31 March 2011; Published: 1 April 2012
age dependence
Chemical attractiveness
Paratrechalea ornata
receptive females
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