4 Spiders With Seriously Strange Mating Rituals

Photo: TonyBaggett (Getty Images)

Never forget that spiders invented the thirst trap. Spider mating rituals don’t include selfies or Snapchat. It’s much more dire for spiders. Like the Praying Mantis, some female spiders kill their male counterparts as a part of their mating rituals. This could be due to size issues or it could be an evolutionary “survival of the fittest” situation.

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Are brutal mating rituals a reason to fear spiders, or maybe a cause to celebrate them? We want to honor those spiders that go out in blazing glory, the ones who will sacrifice everything, even their lives, to get laid and pass on their genes. Here are four spiders that rely on very bizarre mating rituals to continue their species.

1. Black Widows

The Black Widow (also known as the Latrodectus) has been observed cannibalizing its male mates after sex, though only on the Southern Hemisphere. Three North American varieties of Black Widows have not shown tendencies towards cannibalism as a part of their mating rituals. Hopefully, like Joan Jett, they don’t give a dang about their bad reputation.

2. Grass Spiders

The hoops one goes through to find a man! The Pennsylvania Grass Spider (also known as the Agelenopsis pennsylvanica) kills its male counterparts to lure in other male counterparts. Imagine the love triangles these female spiders inspire. What ever happened to dinner and a movie?

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3. Wolf Spiders

Wolf Spiders are a little odd. In fact, they don’t spin webs. (What kind of a spider doesn’t spin a web?) Female cannibalism after mating is also found in as many of the 240 species of Lycosidae. (Would it be worse to be eaten on the first date or right after the one-night stand?) What’s more, sometimes Wolf Spiders engage in threesomes to avoid getting eaten. For spiders, a spicy anniversary gift can be a life or death situation.

4. Nursery-Web Spiders

Some spider mating rituals are hilarious. Male Nursery-Web Spiders (Pisaurina mira) were recorded tying up female partners with webs to avoid getting eaten. Tying up the female spider immobilizes it, so it’s hard to eat the male spider after sex. However, there is a chance that females, especially the big ones, can break the webs. Like condoms, this technique not 100 percent effective.