It’s just a fling!
So how does an itsy bitsy male spider avoid being eaten?
In one species of orb-weavers, Philoponella prominens, males will launch themselves off their female partners shortly after mating.
Researchers hypothesize that the males keep their legs pressed against the female while mating to create pressure.
When released from intercourse, they quickly extend their legs and use that built-up tension to catapult their bodies.
Akio Tanikawa via Wikimedia Commons
Of 155 total matings recorded in the study, 152 male spiders lept from their partners and successfully escaped the females’ hungry mouths.
The three males that did not leap were killed and consumed.
“Females may use this behavior to judge the quality of a male during mating,” study author Shichang Zhang said in a press release.
If males are able to catapult multiple times, it could be a sign to females that their partners are of quality stock.
And if not, well, at least she gets dinner.