Microstigmatidae are small ground-dwelling and free-living spiders. The present study reports on the copulatory behavior of Xenonemesia platensis Goloboff 1989, constituting the first report on sexual behavior of the Microstigmatidae. Our findings in X. platensis did not show evidence of pheromones associated with silk. The courtship behavioral units of males was comprised of quivers by legs I and II, brusque movements of the palps, and leg tapping with legs II. During mating, a novel courtship behavior by males was observed that consisted of tapping and scraping with legs II on the female legs. The present study not only gives a description of mating behavior in Microstigmatidae for the first time, but also reports strong evidence of nongenital copulatory courtship activity in mygalomorph spiders.
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Vol. 40 • No. 2