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1 November 2013 A glimpse into the sexual biology of the “zygiellid” spider genus Leviellus
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We investigated the mating biology of the previously unstudied central European spider Leviellus thorelli (Ausserer 1871) by staging laboratory mating trials using males and females of varying mating histories. Our aim was to seek common themes in sexual behaviors of the sexually size-monomorphic “zygiellid” spiders with their putatively close relatives, araneids and nephilids, which are relatively well studied with respect to sexual biology. We found L. thorelli mating biology to more closely resemble that of sexually size-monomorphic araneids than that of dimorphic nephilids. Unlike in nephilids with sexually conflicted adaptations, we found no evidence for genital damage or plugging in Leviellus Wunderlich 2004, although we found rare cases of half-eunuchs. We suggest that the mating system of L. thorelli spiders is determined by short female sexual attractiveness, reduced receptivity after mating and/or intensive mate guarding.

The American Arachnological Society
Simona Kralj-Fišer, Matjaž Gregorič, Tjaša Lokovšek, Tatjana Čelik, and Matjaž Kuntner "A glimpse into the sexual biology of the “zygiellid” spider genus Leviellus," The Journal of Arachnology 41(3), 387-391, (1 November 2013).
Received: 4 February 2013; Published: 1 November 2013

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