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Fatal attraction takes on an entirely new meaning in the behavior of sexual cannibalism. In many spider and mantis species, mating can turn fatal when the female consumes the male before, during, or immediately after copulation. This curious behavior has widely contested adaptive value. Males incur obvious fitness costs from being consumed because it prevents them from mating in the future. Females may also compromise their own mating opportunity because spider and mantis females often cannibalize males before copulation. A variety of hypotheses have arisen to explain the evolution of sexual cannibalism, including an economic model that depicts the cost-benefit conditions needed for the behavior to have fitness value. Alternate sexual selection and predator-prey hypotheses emphasize the interaction between sexual dimorphism and cannibalism during mating. Hypotheses differ in that some consider the behavior to be adaptive for individuals, while others view it as a non-adaptive by-product of separate traits’ evolution. Hypotheses also differ in the extent to which they view the behavior as a conflict of interest between the sexes (more beneficial for one sex than the other). Ultimately, no hypothesis appear to fit all cases; instead different explanations may apply to different species depending on environmental conditions and species characteristics. Overall, in both mantises and spiders, sexual cannibalism highlights proximate and ultimate causes underlying the sexes’ asymmetric reproductive tactics, and may illustrate a compelling intersection between natural and sexual selection pressures

Author: Rachel Carlson


Mating interactions are frequently marked by conflict. Males and females have asymmetric goals in optimizing reproductive fitness, but they must rely on each other to produce offspring in sexual species ( [link] ). A dramatic example of intersexual conflict is sexual cannibalism, in which the female consumes the courting male before, during, or immediately after copulation (Buskirk et al. 1984). The male appears to be victimized, a hapless casualty of the female’s selfish drive to increase her nutrient store. However, examination of sexual cannibalism in the context of spider and mantis species reveals that these sexual selection pressures are accompanied by a host of costs and benefits to females as well as males


Intersexual conflict with respect to paternal investment

Intersexual conflict occurs when individuals in a mating interaction jockey for the greatest reproductive benefit at the lowest cost. Though individuals must cooperate at least during the mating act to produce viable offspring, their investment in the common young is often highly asymmetrical (Schneider and Lubin 1998). This fact is founded on the anisogamy of the sexes. Female eggs are significantly more nutrient-rich and exacting to produce than male sperm. The female also has fewer eggs than males do sperm. Since the donation of an egg is costlier than that of a sperm, females are immediately more committed to the offspring produced than males. Embryonic food demand places restrictions on the amount of offspring a female can produce in her lifetime, while male reproductive potential has a very high internal upper limit (Schneider and Lubin 1998). There are some rare species (sea horses, jacanas, for example) where males care more for progeny than females, reversing these strategies.

Questions & Answers

what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
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how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
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Source:  OpenStax, Mockingbird tales: readings in animal behavior. OpenStax CNX. Jan 12, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11211/1.5
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