Spider has sex, then chews off own genitals

Must be that good! 😉

Species: Herennia multipuncta (South-East Asian coin spider)
Habitat: Tree trunks and walls across tropical South-East Asia

Sex for the male coin spider resembles war more than love.

First it must mate successfully with a female four times its size that would prefer to eat it than have its babies. Then, the male must do everything possible to keep eager rivals away from the impregnated female. In the macabre world of spider sex, this means self-emasculation.

That’s right: coin spiders voluntarily bite off their own genitals. This habit, practised by around 30 spider species, is not the most obvious way to improve sexual performance. But according to Matjaž Kuntner from the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, eunuchs have an advantage over their intact neighbours.

For one thing, coin spiders only produce enough sperm for a single sexual adventure in their lifetime. So getting rid of the extra baggage – the two sperm-transferring organs known as palps, which can make up around a tenth of their bodyweight – after one use makes them leaner, meaner and better suited to holding off the advances of competing males.

Keeping other males away after mating with a female is particularly important for spiders as several males can fertilise the same batch of eggs. Only by sticking like glue to its mate can a male guarantee that the next generation will carry its genes.

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